New Charter School in Mills to Emphasize Patriotism in Their Curriculum
With attempts to form a new public charter school in Mills underway, there is a need to stand out from other schools, which is where the 1776 curriculum comes in.
Following an approval process, the teaching materials used for the charter school will be taken from Hillsdale College, a small university in Michigan, which covers a variety of math, science, literature, and history subjects.
Craig Horton, executive director of Academica in Colorado and Wyoming, said the history portion of curriculum will do a better job by focusing on patriotisms and the founding of the U.S.
Academica is a company that helps people start charter schools across the country.
"The school will be very patriotic. We're going to spend a lot of time working through the constitution and the declaration of independence, understand the founding of the country and thought behind the thinkers that put the constitution together. [Russell] Donely is particularly interested in that...to have students understand the founding of the country and what the constitution means...we're losing complete track of that, a lot of students can't describe what that process was and its not really taught in schools besides one day a year on constitution day. I think some parents will appreciate that focus."
Horton, who is assisting in setting up the Mills charter school, said that while they are teaching about the founding of the country, they will include some discussion of the country's faults.
"I think that it is a fair assessment of where the country has been, all of our warts, and the beauty of the constitution is that it corrects a lot of that stuff, it was made to correct it, and has over time, slowly, amended the constitution to correct a lot of our wrongs like voting rights, slavery, it was designed to do that."
The 1776 curricula published by Hillsdale College on U.S. history is available online, and provide courses from kindergarten to 12th grade.
While the proposed charter school in Mills will initially only cover kindergarten through 5th grade, they do have plans on expanding to later grades if the initial school is successful.
Among the topics of discussion on U.S. history in the 1776 curriculum, there is little mention of Native Americans, and no mention of what the U.S. government did to Native Americans throughout U.S. history.
Following the publication of this article, Horton said in an email that while they will use some of the 1776 curriculum, they will also use Core Knowledge, which includes discussions on Native American history, in addition to covering the history of many civilizations around the world.