PragerU, a conservative education platform, was added to the education program in Florida grade schools and has been approved for use in New Hampshire and Oklahoma in the next few weeks.
This group was cofounded in 2009 by Dennis Prager, a conservative radio show host and writer. The main purpose is to show the conservative American perspective with five to ten-minute videos about history, civics, news, etc.
“America’s education system has been hijacked by one side. How are we going to have great teachers, if the teachers themselves are basically held hostage to one ideology? That is essentially what we’re trying to break here,” says Marissa Streit, PragerU CEO in a TIME interview.
I do not agree with PragerU, not because of its political party, beliefs, or who they support, but what they are taking away from students. School’s curriculum consists of what goes on in history and what is currently going on in the world around us. When a five to ten-minute video is telling people false information about climate change and COVID-19, such as former MIT Professor Richard Lindzen claims “there is no evidence that CO2 emissions are the dominant factor” and that “only 6% of COVID-19 deaths were due to COVID-19 alone.” These students are supposed to learn correct information. Governors who allow a program that has been proven to teach incorrect information fail the students.
I think it’s important to see different sides and perspectives of different things, but this is not the way to go about it. Being a teacher does not require a set ideology. The role of teachers is to teach students different ways of understanding certain topics. It is common for teachers to insert their opinions once in a while in order to start a class conversation. Not everybody has to agree with the opinion because it is not a fact.
A question that I have is why is this program being taught in schools when there are tons of books that are banned in Florida discussing the LGBTQ+ community, slavery, witchcraft, etc. I think that if conservative ideology is allowed in schools, then it’s only fair if books discussing these topics become unbanned. If learning different ideologies is vital to this organization, then they will understand why this needs to happen.
There needs to be an understanding that if teachers are teaching something to students, it needs to be true. There should be no false information being taught. If there was a program or organization that incorporated conservative and liberal viewpoints and ideology, then I feel that would be more beneficial to students. Only learning about one viewpoint is too biased and doesn’t let students think outside the box or have different ideas.
Reilly Sanborn can be contacted