History Shouldn’t Be Sugarcoated

As a recent Illinois high school graduate, I know better than most in our community how American history is taught in schools. The history I learned was good but often focused on just the highlights – think the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. It wasn’t perfect or entirely complete, but it was a better curriculum than many students across the country receive.

That’s why I am proud to support the work of the Learn from History coalition. At its core, the coalition is here to support students learning a full and accurate history education. Together, we know that students (like me and my fellow 2021 grads) need critical thinking skills to be the leaders of tomorrow in a complex, diverse society.

My perspective on Illinois students learning false history is plain and simple: I don’t believe that we should be teaching students history or social studies until we can provide students with the entire truth. Students deserve to know the whole truth, the real truth of our history, not just half of it. Just like the sign I made in support of this work (pictured with this blog!), American history should not be sugarcoated.

I hope you’ll join me and lend your voice to the Learn from History coalition. Your voice, joined with others across Illinois and the country, are the strongest ambassadors we have to ensure that schools can continue teaching fact-based history to students.

Whether you’re a school system leader, a parent, an educator, or a school board member, Learn from History has a toolkit that’s right for you. These resources will help in your local community.

Students like me are joining with parents, teachers, community leaders, and concerned Illinoisans to help ensure young people can learn from history. They deserve an honest history education.

If they don’t, history will keep repeating itself.

I hope you’ll join us.