You may have heard:
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves’ new budget calls for $3 million for a “Patriotic Education Fund,” which declares that “the United States is the greatest country in the history of the world,” and promises to reward schools that combat the “revisionist history” that is “poisoning a generation.”
Reeves’ budget proposal denounces the supposed “indoctrination in far-left socialist teachings that emphasize America’s shortcomings,” and demands that the curriculum instead focuses on “the incredible accomplishments of the American Way.”
As we enter a new era, it is more important than ever that educators have the right to teach a people’s history — a history that looks honestly at social injustice and at the movements that have sought to make this a more equal society.
In solidarity with Mississippi educators and students, the Zinn Education Project will send a people’s history book and lessons to any middle or high school public school teacher or librarian there who requests them.
We are already getting requests from teachers across the state.
Read some of the dozens of responses we’ve received and donate so that we can send a people’s history book to every teacher and librarian who requests one.
The Reeves proposal was troubling to me as a history instructor because I strive to help my students develop critical thinking skills, and embrace the view that America is not perfect, but striving to be a more equitable society.
— High school social studies teacher, Oxford, Mississippi
I teach in one of the poorest areas in Mississippi, the town where Martin Luther King started the Mule Train. I don’t have many resources in my school and I would love to be able to add y’all’s stuff to my classroom, especially in light of the recent budget proposal put forth by Tate Reeves. The resources you offer are more important now than ever before.
— Middle school language arts teacher, Marks, Mississippi
It is SO important that students are taught to think for themselves. It is our job as educators to present the world to students in an unbiased way that allows them to make their own decisions.
— High school language arts teacher, Cleveland, Mississippi
I would love to bring the content of the people’s history books into my classroom. As an educator in the Mississippi Delta, one of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced is the lack of control over my curriculum. While frustrating for me, it is a reality that greatly (and negatively) impacts the lives and educations of my students. With the new initiative under Tate Reeves, this problem is only going to get worse. In a state with one of the most radical histories of organizing and fighting for liberation, it is both absurd and abhorrent to see the attempts to obstruct education and empowerment of young people. I would love to be able to integrate the people’s history books and lessons into my classroom in whatever way possible. It feels more important now than ever.
— Middle school language arts teacher, somewhere in the Delta, Mississippi
I want to empower my students with real history — not the revisionist history that the state is trying to impose on our schools and our students. Education is the seed of freedom.
— Middle school language arts teacher, Cleveland, Mississippi
I would like A People’s History because I work to engage my students in the discomfort of thinking. The basis of that discomfort is formed by the hard truths uncovered through oft-untold stories. People’s history helps us access these stories which will ultimately empower students.
— High school social studies teacher, Canton, Mississippi
After hearing of Gov. Reeves Patriotic Education initiative, I am further motivated to protect my students’ educational experience. The Zinn Education Project leads a supportive role in my secondary social studies curriculum development. I am appreciative of the counter initiative.
— High school social studies teacher, Clarksdale, Mississippi