Racism played a significant role in the American past and it continues to be widespread and harmful to us all. A broad bipartisan majority of Americans want schools to teach more about racism as part of American history lessons, and educators (in schools and museums) increasingly are doing just that.
Unfortunately, rampant misinformation about what is being taught in classrooms is fueling efforts to censor teachers, omit history, and ban conversations about race in our classrooms. This chilling effect will also touch history museums and historical societies that partner with local teachers on field trips, producing curriculum materials, and other educational programming.
A concerted response is urgently needed, which is why AASLH has become a founding member of the Learn from History Coalition, a broad-based bipartisan gathering of organizations, school system leaders, educators, parents, and students across America. The Learn from History Coalition’s goals are straightforward:
- Educate parents and the public about what is actually taught in schools,
- Explain the vital importance of students learning thorough, accurate, and fact-based history and that racism is wrong, and
- Dramatize in an authentic, non-political, non-confrontational way through first-person accounts, the harm and cost of efforts to restrict what is taught in classrooms across the country.
The Learn from History Coalition is apolitical and will not engage in any lobbying or advocacy. It is solely focused on facilitating broad-based, effective communication to shift the imbalanced and detrimental current narrative.
If you share our concern about the widespread misinformation about what is being taught and its negative impact on students, educators, and us all, please join the Learn from History Coalition launch on September 8th at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central/6pm Mountain/5pm Pacific.
We cannot afford to ignore the rampant spread of misinformation about what is being taught in classrooms. Nor can we permit that misinformation to force teachers and museum educators to brush past difficult parts of our history or omit them entirely, ban students from learning racism is wrong, and add yet another stressor for educators. Please join this important, urgently needed effort to ensure schools, and educators in museums, historical societies, and related history organizations, can fulfill their responsibility to provide a thorough, accurate, and fact-based history education.