but this was just too good to pass up.
While you're at it, compose a list of books that students shouldn't be allowed to read.— Paul Sand (@punsalad) September 14, 2023
I suppose I should provide more info for people not plugged into New Hampshire news. Here's NHJournal, on the side of the angels: Progressive Attacks Don't Stop Board of Ed Approval of PragerU Course.
New Hampshire families can now choose a new financial literacy course from PragerU through the state’s Learn Everywhere program, and New Hampshire Democrats have a new hobby horse to ride into campaign season.
That was the result after three hours of a contentious State Board of Education meeting on Thursday, where Democrats, progressives, and union activists packed the room to denounce PragerU and its “right-wing” politics.
“This approval disregards the potential harm PragerU’s extreme content will inflict on our schools and the education of our children,” said Democratic Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington, who is seeking her party’s nomination for governor next year.
At issue is a video course on personal finances and financial literacy called “Cash Course,” and produced by PragerU, a conservative content business. The state Board of Education has been considering making the course, which contains no political or controversial content, part of the content eligible to complete course requirements for students in the Learn Everywhere program.
But what about that allegation that PragureU is "teaching that slavery was 'no big deal' & 'better than being killed'"? True enough, PragerU puts those words in the mouth of Christopher Columbus in this cartoon video. His argument being that judging 15th-century folk by moral codes developed centuries later is at best problematic.
Should kiddos be exposed to that argument? Surely it's better than presenting a simplistic painting of Columbus as an unadulterated villain.
And clearly the @NHHouseDems are lying when they say Prager is claiming slavery was "no big deal". And their argument gets even more strained when they argue that somehow kids might catch conservative cooties from their financial literacy videos.
And (just as clearly) note that these are the same folks that blanch and screech about "banned books" when someone suggests that Gender Queer might not be appropriate in school libraries. Which was the point of my tweet: if you're censorious enough to want to ban (uncontroversial, apolitical) PragerU videos from the curriculum, what other materials do you think should be kept from young, impressionable eyes?
Also of note:
I'm pretty sure PragerU doesn't have a football team. But they do have at least one person on the cheerleading squad: Howard Sachs, M.D., who says Thank Heaven Prager University Is Coming For Our Kids.
This past month, multiple media outlets on the American left, from the New York Times to the Washington Post, NPR and the Atlantic, have decried the decision by Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration to allow the wildly popular and educational Prager University videos into Florida school curricula. Recently Texas and Oklahoma joined.
Those Americans, namely Democrats, who now embrace leftist ideology are basically outraged that our children might learn some traditional liberal American ideas and values. Such learning would create an obstacle in their drive to bring us their state-run, radically secular, gender-neutral, carbon-free, iron-fisted utopia. In fact, the Democrat leftist tyrants who run my own Montgomery County, Md., government schools just won a court case allowing them to force religious Christians Jews and Muslim kids to be indoctrinated into the 2SLGBTQIA+ poison against their parent’s wishes. I and millions of others have had enough. We are delighted what the leaders in Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma have done — allowed for truth and American values to once again be taught in our schools.
And why, perchance might I, and millions of others from all around the world, embrace this unaccredited Prager University? Why would I, a nerdy, intellectual, thick eyeglass-wearing, Duke University degree-holding, former Democrat Jew with his nose always in a book be so enamored with its over 1,000 short educational videos? Why would I say and mean things like “I’d rather an American public school or college kid sit in some basement for a few hours a day watching the unaccredited Prager University videos for free than be sitting in most of our accredited, blue-ribboned high school classes or any college class at Yale, Harvard Stanford, UPenn or Columbia?” What makes me actually pay my kids, nieces, and nephews to watch the weekly new 5-minute video?
It’s because I care about truth and true education, which means caring about transmitting liberal, moral, elevated American values and wisdom, not Marxist ideology, to our children. I and millions of us Prager U fans care particularly about the American and Western ideals of education regarding transmitting truth, beauty, and goodness.
Dr. Sachs obviously wrote before hearing the news from Concord.
He not only saw it coming, he also sees where it is, and where it's going. That's Martin Gurri, readers, in his interview with Brian C. Anderson, discussing the New Censorship.
Brian Anderson: […] Last year, and you tell us a remarkable story in your essay, the Biden administration established what was called the Disinformation Governance Board, and this basically was kind of centralizing the government’s attempts to shape online narrative. The Biden administration wound up dissolving this board after only four months. Why did it fail so quickly? And maybe just recount that story briefly.
Martin Gurri: Yeah, that’s a funny one. That’s a fun story. What it tells you. I think this idea that they were going to, first of all, it was going to be in the homeland defense agency that tells you what they think, which is an idea that they’re defending their country against these attacks, both internal, domestic, and foreign because they had given up on pretending that it was just the Russians, that they had domestic anti-democratic threats that they were looking at. And after much thought that maybe amongst the NGOs we were talking about earlier, there was a lot of debate, should this be centralized or should this be dispersed? And the NGOs, as they always do, came down on heavily centralized and whole of government effort is what Renee DiResta said. And after a while, the Biden people decided to go along with that and came up with that governance board.
They appointed this woman, Nina Jankowicz, who was in part responsible for the thing collapsing because she is, first of all, she was a heavy two-fisted defender of the fact that the Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Russian hack. So this is remarkable that a person who was so completely wrong about that is now being made the head of a disinformation board. And secondly, if you look at her up online, she is online saying that she is the Mary Poppins of disinformation, singing basically what you might call in an older era, indecent songs about herself, about who she needs to be with to get ahead in life. I mean, she was just a crazy person. But I think the main reason that board failed is that inside that establishment left, it is a self-evident good to have control of disinformation. And no matter what kind of government intrusion you need, it’s the outcome that matters.
So then the outcome is you’re stopping lies. And they live in this bubble where it is very important for them politically to have that control. It’s all one-sided. It aimed at conservatives and Republicans, or somewhat less so at Maverick lefties and Democrats like Robert F. Kennedy. So they have come to the habit of basically believing that everything that’s good for them politically is good for our democracy, and they live in this bubble. And it never occurred to them if they said to the American public, we’re going to have this disinformation governors, it’s going to govern your information, that a lot of Americans are going to go, what are you talking about? And I think the response by the public and by the opposition, and many outlets, caught them by surprise. To them, it is just a self-evident good.
(Headline inspired by the Arnold Kling quote here.)