Washington, D.C. – American Principles Project senior fellow Jane Robbins is co-author of a white paper released today by the Boston-based Pioneer Institute, entitled No Longer a City on a Hill: Massachusetts Degrades Its K-12 History Standards. The paper argues that the 2018 rewrite of the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework should be rejected in its entirety and the state’s 2003 history framework, considered one of the best in the nation, restored.
Robbins released the following statement, stressing the significance of the changes addressed in the paper:
“It’s truly a travesty to see the loss of curriculum standards that helped catapult Massachusetts to national leader in education. First the state replaced its excellent English language arts and math standards with Common Core, and now it discards its stellar history standards in favor of progressive propaganda. This white paper aims to address the heart of these issues and suggest a way the state can reclaim its much lauded educational heritage.”
Robbins and co-authors Dr. David Randall, director of research at the National Association of Scholars, and Will Fitzhugh, founder of The Concord Review, warn in the paper that the framework rewrite “eviscerates” and “degrades” Massachusetts’ excellent history standards in multiple ways. Coherent sequences of history are replaced with incoherent fragments; standards are written in bloated, “unreadable education-school jargon”; a full account of our nation’s European past is replaced with “the history of politically correct protest movements”; students are given insufficient time to learn European and American history; and the already developed history MCAS assessment is eliminated and replaced with hollow “expectations” of students.
The Massachusetts rewrite also follows the “action civics” template pushed by progressive educators, minimizing attention to content in favor of “an exercise in progressive educational propaganda and vocational training for how to be a political activist.”
Among other recommendations, the report argues that the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education should restore the state’s 2003 history framework and the MCAS history assessment. It also urges a return to higher expectations of history students, including reading entire history books and writing serious history papers.
To schedule an interview with Jane Robbins, contact Paul Dupont at 202-503-2010 or pdupont@