Multicultural History Standards Rejected by Senate in 99-1 Vote
The Senate voted, 99 to 1, Wednesday to repudiate proposed new standards for teaching children history, saying they present Western civilization in an unflattering light.
The resolution asks government agencies to reject three curriculum guides proposed late last year. The proposals suggest ways to make history come alive for students from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
The architect of the voluntary standards--the National History Standards Project based at UCLA--sought to embrace nonwhite cultures, but some conservatives complained that they belittled Western culture in the name of multiculturalism.
After meeting with critics Jan. 12, project officials agreed to re-examine their work. The Senate resolution, which is not legally binding, says that if any government agency budgets money for a program based on the standards, “the recipient of such funds should have a decent respect for United States history’s roots in Western civilization.”