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Rich Lowry: The Propaganda in Your Child’s Classroom

Rich Lowry writes in the New York Post about Mitch Daniels’s fight against liberal propaganda in the classroom:

Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, now the president of Purdue University, has impeccable taste in historians.

Upon the death of Howard Zinn in 2010, he wrote an e-mail to his advisers about Zinn’s most famous work, “A People’s History of the United States.” “It is a truly execrable, anti-factual piece of disinformation that misstates American history on every page,” he said. “Can someone assure me that it is not in use anywhere in Indiana? If it is, how do we get rid of it before any more young people are force-fed a totally false version of our history?”

He was appalled to find out that Indiana University used the tome in a course training the state’s teachers, and wanted his education adviser to look into such courses and impose some standards. “Disqualify the propaganda,” he urged, “and highlight (if there is any) the more useful offerings.”

Just revealed, the e-mails have occasioned much heavy breathing among the sorts of people for whom lacking perspective is a professional obligation. For them, Daniels might as well be a book-burning fireman out of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.”

Ninety-two Purdue professors signed a letter warning that “the very viability of academic inquiry and the university’s mission is at stake.” The American Historical Association said it “deplores the spirit and intent” of the e-mails, and considers “any governor’s action that interfered with an individual teacher’s reading assignments to be inappropriate and a violation of academic freedom.”

You’d never guess from the hysterics that the low estimation that Daniels has for Zinn’s work is shared by a swath of distinguished historians. It’s not that they disagree with Zinn or believe he’s too controversial. They think his work is, to borrow the word Daniels used in another email, “crap…”

Read the rest of Rich’s article here.

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