As a student in the 1980s, I never imagined that the history lessons I received at my well-regarded high school omitted important portions of our country’s past. But that is indeed what happened.
Filling in these missing pieces decades later as an adult left me feeling disappointed in my history education and with the realization that I had been making assumptions about the world around me from a historical knowledge base with gaping holes.
Now as a parent and community member, I understand two things: First that teaching an honest and complete account of our country’s history is essential. It’s essential to achieving our goals of helping children become adults who can think critically and who won’t repeat the mistakes of the past. And second, we can’t assume that our local schools are teaching a full and truthful history. It’s up to us as parents and community members to tell our local school boards and superintendents that we do not want our children to receive a partial or cherry-picked history of our country.
That’s why I am grateful for the Learn from History Coalition. I appreciate knowing I’m not alone, that people and groups from across Illinois and across the country are working together and sharing ideas to support our schools in teaching the kind of history that will prepare our students for the world they will enter and one day lead.
I will keep doing this work because I don’t want today’s students to become adults and wonder what they are missing, as I did.
I hope you will join us.