An advanced placement high-school history book aggressively critical of President Trump and his supporters is receiving new scrutiny, thanks to fresh exposure by Fox News commentator Todd Starnes and others.
Entitled By the People: A History of the United States, the history textbook published by Pearson Education and authored by New York University professor James Fraser was first introduced to classrooms in 2018. Its liberal, anti-Trump bias was discovered almost immediately in one of the book’s final sections, labeled “The Angry Election of 2016,” in which the author relates: “Most thought that Trump was too extreme a candidate to win the nomination, but his extremism, his anti-establishment rhetoric, and, some said, his not very hidden racism connected with a significant number of primary voters.”
Claiming that most Trump supporters were “older, often rural or suburban, and overwhelmingly white,” Fraser opines that “Clinton’s supporters feared that the election had been determined by people who were afraid of a rapidly developing ethnic diversity of the country, discomfort with their candidate’s gender and nostalgia for an earlier time in the nation’s history. They also worried about the mental stability of the president-elect and the anger that he and his supporters brought to the nation.”
“In other words,” noted Starnes in his commentary, students exposed to the book in high-school history classes “are going to be taught that President Trump is mentally insane and his supporters are a bunch of irredeemable deplorables. Such descriptions would be laughable, but this garbage is being shoved into the minds of impressionable American teenagers.”
Starnes recalled that one of the first students to raise a red flag over the left-leaning curriculum was Rosemount, Minnesota, high school student Tarra Snyder, who told Fox News in April 2018 that she was appalled by the textbook’s blatant bias against President Trump and his supporters, and how it ignored any negative issues that Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton faced during the campaign.
“It was really, really surprising to me,” said Snyder. “I really believe that learning should be objective and that students can make their own decisions based on what they’re able to learn in a classroom, and if the facts are skewed then students aren’t able to make well-rounded decisions on what they believe.”
Starnes noted that a statement by Pearson Education insisted the textbook had undergone “rigorous peer review to ensure academic integrity,” and that the publisher stood behind the final product.
“This work is designed to convey college-level information to high school students and meet specific Advanced Placement standards,” read the statement. “It aims to promote debate and critical thinking by presenting multiple sides of historical issues and offering a broad survey of arguments from the 2016 presidential election and other recent topics. We have reviewed the passages in question independently and in the context of the rest of the book. This review has confirmed that the text offers a broad view of critical arguments from both sides of the 2016 presidential election.”
However, Joy Pullman, an education expert and executive editor of The Federalist, called the textbook an example of “overt political propaganda being scooped into the most capable students’ minds under the guise of education. Even if they don’t accept its messages entirely, studying this wastes time that young people deserve to be spending getting actually educated.
In his commentary, Starnes recalled Ronald Reagan’s observations that “our most precious resources, our greatest hope for the future, are the minds and hearts of our people, especially our children.”
However, added Starnes, the use of such a textbook in today’s public schools demonstrates that “we have entrusted our most precious resources to a bunch of degenerate propagandists who hate everything about the land of the free and the home of the brave.”