1619 project creator says she disagrees with “this idea that parents should decide what’s taught” in schools

1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones was recently interviewed by NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, and said she didn’t understand the idea that “parents should decide what’s being taught” in schools.

The comments echoed those made by Terry McAuliffe during his campaign in Virginia. “Did you intend for The 1619 Project to become public school curriculum, or did you intend it to start a debate to improve the curriculum of how we teach American history?” host Chuck Todd asked. 

Though Hannah-Jones said that the project was pitched as a “work of journalism,” she admitted that it “could be a great learning tool for students.”

“Now The New York Times has an education division, The New York Times regularly turned its journalism into curriculum, as did The Pulitzer Center, who we ultimately partnered with. They are constantly turning works of journalism into curriculum,” Hannah-Jones said.

She also argued against critiques of the project, saying, “It’s only become controversial because people have decided to make The 1619 Project controversial.”

Hannah-Jones proceeded to say that it shouldn’t be left to lawmakers or parents to decide what can be taught in schools. “So, I think we should frame that question properly,” she continued.

“And I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught. I’m not a professional educator. I don’t have a degree in social studies or science we send our children to school because we want them to be taught by people who have expertise in the subject area. And that is not my job.”

Hannah-Jones acknowledged the comparison with her comments to McAuliffe’s. “When the governor or the candidate said that he didn’t think parents should be deciding what’s being taught in school, he was panned for that, but that’s just the fact. This is why we send our children to school and don’t home school,” Hannah-Jones said.

“Because these are the professional educators who have the expertise to teach social studies, to teach history, to teach science, to teach literature, and I think we should leave that to the educators. Yes, we should have some say but school is not about simply confirming our worldview. Schools should teach us to question they should teach us how to think, not what to think.”




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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