Williamson County School System has altered a portion of a social studies curriculum about former U.S. Democratic President Barack Obama after a complaint from parents the lesson had a left-wing slant.
Edina Nelson, one of the parents, recently appeared on The Tennessee Star Report radio program where she complained about the school system’s online social studies curriculum.
The Tennessee Star reviewed one portion of that curriculum this week, specifically how it assesses the presidencies of Ronald Reagan all the way up to Barack Obama.
What we saw appeared politically balanced, with both criticism and praise for each president’s performance.
But it wasn’t always like that, said Nelson, who also reviewed the curriculum several weeks ago at the school system’s main office in Franklin, under the watchful eye of school administrators.
Nelson said the school system, for instance, presented a Wall Street Journal video that presented the narrator’s interpretation of the strengths and weaknesses of the Obama administration. But she said the video tilted to the political left and if it faulted Obama for anything, it was for not going far enough to enact liberal and progressive policies.
“Any conservative stuff you see in there about Obama is because we gave it to them and we forced them to put it in,” Nelson said.
“I cited school board policy that says if teaching materials involve any political point of view then they need to be neutral or if one point of view is represented then they need to have the other one represented. They would never have researched this on their own.”
One article now includes a piece from The Chicago Tribune that explains how Obamacare dramatically increased health insurance premiums.
School system officials told The Star that their online social studies curriculum features articles from the right-leaning National Review magazine and the nonprofit Prager University, which is also conservative.
But Nelson said those right-leaning websites weren’t always available for Williamson County students. She said she and other parents suggested school administrators include those articles.
“When we first showed them the list of conservative websites they didn’t even know what the heck those were,” Nelson said.
“They asked ‘What? The Federalist? What is that? A TV channel?’”
We asked WCS spokesman Carol Birdsong if what Nelson said was true.
In an emailed statement, Birdsong said:
It is my understanding that the OER (Open Educational Resource) team is familiar with both the National Review and PragerU
Materials from the National Review have been used and a PragerU resource was added after it was suggested and then vetted.
As reported this week, parents of students in the Williamson County School System who worry that school officials politicize their child’s social studies curriculum have a right to view the material if they wish.
They seem to have a reason for concern.
As reported earlier this year, WCS officials used taxpayer money to create a series of training videos for teachers that preached “white privilege” and America’s supposed dysfunctional history.
Former School Superintendent Mike Looney said parents were never supposed to see those videos.
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