America’s earliest Colonial history revealed

The headline recently read, “American Students Don’t Know History,” referring to the Nation’s Report Card, evaluating the percentage of high school seniors’ knowledge of America’s history.
Only a dismal 12% of high school seniors were considered proficient in American history.
Before we place all the blame on the students, there is a long list of other factors which deserve to be considered, the topic perhaps for a future article.
One factor is the politicized Texas state-adopted history textbook from which students get their information.
Freedom to practice one’s religion, no matter how objectionable it may have been considered in old England, was one of the main reasons religious sects such as the Pilgrims, Puritans, Quakers, Calvinists, Amish and others undertook the long, arduous journey to an uncertain future in the New World. By far the largest single religious sect were the Puritans, who equated their journey to the new world with the Jewish people’s biblical escape from Pharaoh to the promised land.
Not accepting the authority of the English king and parliament to control their decisions, they relied instead on the teachings of the Old Testament, on Mosaic Law.
The Puritans also mandated school systems modeled after the Jewish community’s schools, which were proved as successful models.
Childhood education for all became an early goal. Laws were passed requiring parents to teach their children religious principles and important laws.
As population increased, education became formalized, schools built, teachers appointed, universities established with Hebrew and Bible studies being offered.
A modern tour of America’s oldest schools of higher learning — Princeton, Yale, Rutgers, Harvard, Dartmouth, and others — reveals Hebrew words or phrases in each school’s ancient emblems and seals.
In spite of all this historic evidence, the influence of the Old Testament’s teachings on the daily lives of the Puritans and others is never credited to the Jewish faith in Texas texts.
Jews are not the only minority group “short-changed” in Texas’ and other states’ history texts.
I use the expression “short-changed” to indicate the lack of historical accuracy by omission of the many positive contributions and achievements that Black Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans have made to the United States.
In light of the fact that by 2044, people who identify themselves as “white” will be a minority of the population while the rest will be a mixture of other ethnic groups, there may well be a greater emphasis on the early contributions of ethnic peoples than has previously been given.
A reflection of the changing racial and ethnic diversity patterns in the United States is the fact that for the fifth time, the United States Congress is more racially and ethnically diverse than ever.
Hopefully, Texas and other states’ history textbook writers will soon be more scholarly and less political.

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