Arizona Superintendent greenlights far-right ideological materials to teach kids in public schools

prageru

Marissa Streit, CEO of PragerU speaks at the Arizona Capitol alongside Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, and members of the Arizona Freedom Caucus. Photo by Camaron Stevenson.

By Camaron Stevenson

January 31, 2024

Arizona’s education chief and an unaccredited, conservative media company announced Wednesday that the state would allow the use of the organization’s ideological content as part of approved classroom curriculum.

“We have a partnership with the superintendent of education, one, as well as a bunch of other people who have called us into Arizona,” PragerU CEO Marissa Streit told Breitbart. “Arizona in particular, it has been a battleground because people have really become very aware and very upset about what has happened educationally over there.”

PragerU is a nonprofit organization that creates online content that they claim  “advances Judeo-Christian values” and portrays an inaccurate view of American history and science, based more on ideological viewpoints rather than evidence. The organization has vowed to not only disrupt Arizona classrooms with propaganda-like curriculum, but plans to establish similar partnerships in every state.

Some of their more controversial offerings have received national attention—like an animated video where abolitionist Frederick Douglas tells children slavery was a “compromise” and all US Founding Fathers opposed the practice personally, or that the US Civil War was fought over state’s rights.

Héctor Jaramillo, a board member of the Glendale Elementary School District, told The Copper Courier that allowing inaccurate representations of history into Arizona classrooms does students a disservice, and will put them at an academic disadvantage later in life.

“This partnership is really detrimental to our culture and our studies. I feel like it doesn’t have a place in our state,” said Jaramillo. “We want to make sure our students grow up into well-rounded, educated individuals. To do that, we’ve got to teach them accurate history to be more accepting of other folks—what these organizations and their education materials do is quite the opposite.”

Some of the PragerU lessons now part of Arizona’s approved curriculum include:

  • How to Embrace Your Masculinity / How to Embrace Your Femininity
  • The Pope Who Stood Against Communism
  • Mateo backs the Blue
  • Moses: The Leader of God’s People
  • How to be a Rational Patriot

The site also offers a series of five-minute videos hosted by conservative celebrities like Tucker Carlson and Candace Owens, inaccurately covering topics such as the gender wage gap, multiculturalism, and the sexual objectification of women. In one video, titled, “Illegal Immigration: It’s About Power,” Carlson incorrectly declares that labor activist Cesar Chavez’s mantra “Si, se puede,” meant, “Yes, we can—seal the borders.”

In addition to Arizona, PragerU has educational partnerships with Florida, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Montana, and parts of Texas.

Author

  • Camaron Stevenson

    Camaron is the Founding Editor and Chief Political Correspondent for The Copper Courier, and has worked as a journalist in Phoenix for over a decade. He also teaches multimedia journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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