The National Education Association removed its resources on Presidents Day from its websites in 2020, according to a Daily Signal review of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Three years later, the teachers union still has not updated the page.
The resources, last saved on June 17, 2020, included lesson plans celebrating “the lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, their contributions to the United States, and the lives and contributions of all our 45 Presidents.”
Presidents Day lesson plans included “George Washington: A National Treasure,” which celebrated Washington as an American hero, and “George Washington: Centerpiece of a Nation,” where students studied the characteristics that made the first president a great leader.
Now, the Presidents Day resources site yields a “Page not found” result, instead referring users to NEA’s resource library. The library includes Black History Month lessons from Learning for Justice, the education branch of the Southern Poverty Law Center; a report on how teachers can advocate for abortion services; resources for teaching about Indigenous people; an article about implicit racial bias; and posters, bookmarks, and stickers for celebrating “banned” books.
The NEA did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.
The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress scorecard showed that student proficiency in U.S. history is getting worse. Only 15% of eighth graders scored as proficient or above in U.S. history in 2018, a fall of four points since the last assessment in 2014. Only one-quarter of students showed proficiency in civics and geography.
The discarded webpage included lessons on the Revolutionary War, constitutional government, the Bill of Rights, the Civil War, and the Gettysburg Address.
“Because George Washington led the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolution and was later elected to be the first President, most Americans and much of the world saw him as a symbol of the United States,” a lesson for fourth to sixth graders reads. “To his countrymen at the time and in the opinion of many historians, George Washington’s role as President in the new federal government was crucial to its success.”
The resources also included crafts for children celebrating Washington’s birthday, games, and quizzes.
The absence of information on U.S. history on the NEA website is part of a nationwide trend of canceling American Founding Fathers.
America has seen a sharp decline in schools named after presidents. In 1986, more than 6,000 schools were named after a president. In 2020, that number dropped to 4,889, according to a Heritage Foundation report released Friday on the decline of patriotically named schools. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
More than 63% of parents and almost 74% of teachers say civics education should be emphasized more in schools, according to The Heritage Foundation’s survey of teachers and parents in 2021.
“The National Education Association’s removal of content on the great former presidents of the United States would seem to indicate they no longer value them as such or believe their ideas and examples in leadership merit study by American culture,” Richard Reinsch, director of the Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “This is regrettable, pathetic, and quite frankly, anti-American.”
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.