President Trump on Thursday said he would create a commission to promote “patriotic education” and announced the creation of a grant to develop a “pro-American curriculum.” In the speech, Trump decried what he said was a “twisted web of lies” being taught in U.S. classrooms about systemic racism in America, calling it “a form of child abuse.” He reprised themes from a speech he gave in July at Mount Rushmore.
Trump is calling the panel the “1776 Commission,” in what appeared to be a barb at the New York Times’s 1619 Project. The 1619 Project, whose creator won a Pulitzer Prize for its lead essay, is a collection of articles and essays that argue that the nation’s true founding year is 1619, the year enslaved Africans were brought to the shores of what would become the United States. Trump said Thursday the 1619 Project wrongly teaches that the United States was founded on principles of “oppression, not freedom.”
The federal government does not have jurisdiction over school curriculum.