A press release from Julie Williams has been forwarded to us and we thought we would share it with you in its entirety below. In it, Williams claims she doesn’t understand the upset and makes several comments that show she does not understand the AP History curriculum she would like to do away with.
But that is not the real story and before we get to Williams’ press release, we want to talk about our kids. The real story is our high school students standing up today for what they believe in.
When asked why they were protesting, students interviewed on channel 7 and channel 9 were very articulate in their responses. The upshot: Our children, thanks to their Jeffco education are NOT a bunch of little sheep. They are intelligent, thoughtful kids who understand what’s happening and are unhappy about it.
We liked a post from Support Jeffco Kids earlier (www.supportjeffcokids.org) where a parent shared their story of why they are proud of their child’s participation in the walk out. We have included the post below for you but you can also read the original here: http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/why-im-proud-of-my-sons-act-of-rebellion-and-civil-disorder/
Why I’m Proud of My Son’s Act of “Rebellion” and “Civil Disorder”The irony of all this is that by trying to control what students learn, by saying we shouldn’t teach kids to be “little rebels,” Julie Williams’ attempt at censorship has actually created an act of rebellion and civil disorder.My son, a high school student, came to me Sunday evening and told me he wanted to join the walk out today and asked me to help him make signs.So, I asked him, “Why do you want to join the walk out? Do you know what this is all about?”He responded, “It’s about censorship and no respect for my teachers from the school board. The school board wants to censor my education, they want to force their way of thinking on my education and that’s not right. They are treating my teachers badly and showing them no respect. My teachers are awesome and they deserve better.”Out of the mouths of babes, right? So, I happily helped him make signs and fully support my son’s decision to walk out with his classmates today and protest the actions of the Jeffco Board of Education and I suspect most parents of these high school kids feel the same way.I’m proud of my child for performing this act of civil disobedience, for being a “little rebel.” It’s the “little rebels” in our country’s great history who have truly made a difference in social progress, in civil rights, and in moving this country forward.We should all be extremely proud of these kids for standing up for what they believe is right!
BELOW IS JULIE WILLIAMS’ PRESS RELEASE
Sept 22, 2014
“For Immediate Release”
I was truly surprised by the reaction of so many people regarding the AP U.S. History curriculum (APUSH). I must not have explained myself clearly. I thought everyone, or at least everyone involved in education understood the huge debate and controversy surrounding the new APUSH. To be accused of censorship? “Seriously?” That is just ridiculous. I am advocating for just the opposite. So, please let me start at the beginning.
APUSH is new. This is important to state because some may not know it is NEW. It came into existence quite recently under dubious and secretive circumstances (just like the Common Core). If fully implemented, APUSH would greatly modify and standardize the teaching of US History in every high school in America.
I presented a resolution to Opt-Out of Common Core and PARCC Testing and to my dismay it was tabled in favor of a deeper look. APUSH fits right into Common Core and a one size fits all curriculum.
One of the main characters behind the Common Core, David Coleman, is the president and chief executive of the College Board. APUSH rejects the history that has been taught in the country for generations. It has an emphasis on race, gender, class, ethnicity, grievance and American-bashing while simultaneously omitting the most basic structural and philosophical elements considered essential to the understanding of American History for generations.
Let me give you some examples of who is omitted: Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin with not even a mention of Martin Luther King, Jr. who was on the forefront of the civil rights movement. It ignores lessons on the Boston Tea Party, Lexington, Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the list continues…
APUSH is untested and unresearched! It has been left up to the school districts to do the research and that is merely what I am suggesting.
There needs to be a debate on the merits of rejecting current history curriculum before an examination on the new curriculum begins. Many community members have brought to my attentions their concerns, as a Board Member, it is my duty to bring the following concerns to the forefront:
Parents who have reviewed APUSH have been very unhappy with what their children will be taught and have lost trust in the “experts”. Please note: This is NOT a committee to review teachers, this is NOT about teachers, it is about curriculum review, which is a board’s responsibility.
Balance and respect for traditional scholarship is NOT censorship. Again we (who is we?) believe that exposure to the curriculum itself, not inflammatory rhetoric; will convince most parents that a review committee is a very good idea.
I humbly ask our Jeffco history teachers to review their philosophical position on the APUSH. I think the majority will be surprised to find they agree. I invite them to join us while we investigate this curriculum, together.
Here is some perspective: The Texas State Board of Education has voted to set aside the new AP U.S. History Framework in favor of its own state-mandated U.S. history curriculum.
If there is no concern with the curriculum then I would ask why so much resistance?
No one is talking about getting rid of AP U.S. History. I am just asking for us to take a deeper look. Let’s weigh this curriculum against the best interests of our students and see where we land.
Last, when it comes to history I believe all children graduating from an American school should know 3 things: American Exceptionalism, an understanding of US History, and know the Constitution.
Jeffco Board of Education
We wonder if Julie Williams realizes the term “American exceptionalism” was used by the Communist Party way back when?
For your reading pleasure, we have included the definition of “American exceptionalism” from Wikipedia below.
American exceptionalism is the theory that the United States is qualitatively different from other nation states. In this view, U.S. exceptionalism stems from its emergence from a revolution, becoming what political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset called “the first new nation” and developing a uniquely American ideology, “Americanism”, based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, republicanism,populism and laissez-faire. This ideology itself is often referred to as “American exceptionalism.”
Although the term does not necessarily imply superiority, many neoconservatives and other American conservative writers have promoted its use in that sense.To them, the U.S. is like the biblical “City upon a Hill” — a phrase evoked by British colonists to North America as early as 1630 — and exempt from historical forces that have affected other countries.
The theory of the exceptionalism of the U.S. can be traced to Alexis de Tocqueville, the first writer to describe the country as “exceptional” in 1831 and 1840. The exact term “American exceptionalism” has been in use since at least the 1920s and saw more common use after Soviet leader Joseph Stalin chastised members of the Jay Lovestone-led faction of the American Communist Party for their belief that America was independent of the Marxist laws of history “thanks to its natural resources, industrial capacity, and absence of rigid class distinctions”. American Communists started using the English term “American exceptionalism” in factional fights.
We don’t think Williams did herself any favors with today’s press release. The walk out by students shows our kids are getting a great education in Jefferson County and that they are learning to think for themselves and to stand up for what they believe in.
We are very, very proud of today’s “little rebels” and we thank, with all our hearts, the incredible Jeffco teachers who are getting such a lousy deal and being treated with such disrespect by WNW.
You all deserve so much better!