Kery Murakami, Washington Times, July 16, 2021
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Friday backed off from his proposal to create a new grant that was seen as encouraging the teaching of critical race theory and the “1619 Project.”
Mr. Cardona’s decision came after the department received more than 35,000 comments on the proposed grants, with most of the comments objecting to grants to promote teaching U.S. history through the prism of race and highlighting the impact of slavery.
In a blog post, Mr. Cardona announced that the department would go forward with the creation of the new federal grants but the grants would not require classwork based on critical race theory or the “1619 Project.”
In the grant proposal, as an example of what should be taught to receive the grant, the department cited the New York Times’ “1619 project,” which reframed U.S. history with slavery and racism as the centerpiece of the American experience.
Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, the top Republican on the Education Committee, said the thousands of protests had persuaded Mr. Cardona to change course.
“Let me be clear: the Department of Education changed its approach to grant funding because parents, students, and Republican leaders stood up in defense of our nation’s history and legacy,” she said in a statement.
In the blog post, Mr. Cardona said the aim of the grants would be “to improve the quality of American history, civics, and government education to provide more students the opportunity to learn about the rich history of our nation and build the skills needed to fully participate in civic life.”
The grant still “encourages projects that incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives into teaching and learning,” he wrote.