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Still teachin' the controversy.
We may have discovered one of the reasons why certain folks in Arizona turn out as they do. It seems the charter schools there can have (ahem) an interesting curriculum.
Heritage Academy uses two books by controversial anti-communist author Cleon Skousen — The 5,000 Year Leap and The Making of America — that “push ‘Christian nation’ propaganda and other religious teachings on impressionable, young students,” according to Alex Luchenitser, the associate legal director for Americans United.
Of course, if you attend something called the Heritage Academy I suppose it's pretty clear what you're going to get. It's one of those words that has long since been appropriated to mean ... things. Skousen, for his part, is one of the people incessantly peddled by noted history-puncher Glenn Beck, and was known for his let's-say-eccentric interpretations of history, ones that posited the United States to be a country created by God Himself and that slavery was just America's way of giving black people Jesus hugs:
[Law professor Garrett Epps] noted that “parts of his major textbook, The Making of America, present a systematically racist view of the Civil War,” adding that a “long description of slavery in the book claims that the state [of slavery] was beneficial to African Americans and that Southern racism was caused by the ‘intrusion’ of northern abolitionists and advocates of equality for the freed slaves.”

In The Making of America, Skousen included an essay by Fred Albert Shannon, in which he argued that “if [black children] ran naked it was generally from choice, and when the white boys had to put on shoes and go away to school they were likely to envy the freedom of their colored playmates.”

Teach the controversy, I suppose.

Heritage says it will be de-emphasizing Skousen next school year—not because of his interesting views, but due to school-year time constraints—but they'll still be teaching from those books. You wouldn't want the kids to grow up without knowing all the perks of being a slave, after all.

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