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'1619 Project' Creator Says Professionals — Not Parents — Should Decide What Children Are Taught

'I don't really understand this idea that parents should decide what's being taught,' said Nikole Hannah-Jones

Controversial New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones recently said she does not know why parents should have a role in deciding what their children are taught.

In an interview on NBC’s Meet The Press, the creator of the New York Times’ 1619 Project said she agreed with former Virginia Gover Terry McAuliffe, who argued parents should not tell schools what to teach their children.

I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught. I’m not a professional educator,” Hannah-Jones said. “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.”

She said she views McAuliffe’s comments as a “fact.”

This is why we send our children to school and don’t homeschool 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,” she added.

McAuliffe said that parents should not be involved with classrooms while debating his former opponent, Virginia Governor Glen Youngkin. At the time, parents in the states were objecting to the use of politicized or explicit books, including Beloved by Toni Morrison.

“I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision,” McAuliffe said.

Hannah-Jones received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for the 1619 Project, which examines the impact of slavery on the modern United States. It is currently a best-selling book.

During the interview, host Chuck Todd asked ,”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?”

Hannah-Jones said that while the project was a “work of journalism,” 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 said America is “going into a dark age” in which truth is suppressed.

The 1619 project supports the instruction of Critical Race Theory, which has been widely opposed by Republican lawmakers as an inaccurate and divisive theory.

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