Heritage’s Director of the Kenneth B. Simon Center for Principles and Politics David Azerrad was recognized this week by The American Legion for his work throughout the nation furthering the principles America was founded on.

According to an email sent to David:

The Committee was most impressed with your [David’s] work in teaching the tenets of the American political tradition to policymakers, political leaders and the public.

Additionally the Committee was very appreciative of your work throughout the nation and most importantly your annual presentation on the Constitution to American Legion Boys Nation delegates. Your work reflects the highest values of The American Legion’s education goals and initiatives.

Azerrad will receive the American Legion’s National Education Award for 2017 this summer in recognition of his work.

This is just one of many examples of your support enabling tremendous influence across the country.

Please join me in congratulating David.

Read more about David and his work at Heritage>>

How important is it to educate the next generation of Americans on the principles this country was founded upon? Do you think the current public school system does a good job teaching these principles? Why or why not?

Comments (57)

Gordon Humphrey - May 19, 2017

The public schools do not educate our children on the principles of the constitution & bill of rights which were established by people who feared the God of the Bible. They now teach the lies of evolution as truth and deny the creator of the cosmos. They don’t fear God and thus have corrupted most students to not fear God. Now the morality of this country is in the sewers. The result is a total rebellion for the principles this country was founded on.
Please God Please save our country from their apostasy.

Marion E Daniels-Price - May 19, 2017

It’s very important that today’s youth be taught our true American history (as well as the truevqorld history) because they are not being taught it in our schools. They are being taught a politically correct, modified version of our (& the world’s) history. Good or bad, our history needs to be taught they way it happened. America is not perfect, far from it, but this country is the best place to live. If today’s youth was taught our true history, they may not be so anxious to violently protest against conservative speakers on our college campuses.

John Conor - May 19, 2017

Hell no they don’t! Most schools don’t teach US or World history any more. Today our young people have no perspective on what, why or how our country came to be and what we’ve learned, at what price and how and why to avoid the same mistakes and why to pursue the truths that work.

Cheryl Grosser - May 19, 2017

I agree Gordon. From my own experiences in the education agenda since my 4 children started kindergarten in 1975 has been a critical uphill challenge. The importance of basic education has faltered in grade school on into high school. My children have become successful in their own right. But it took standing up for my children to the school staff on numerous occasions. What happens then is the so called professionals will take it out on the children. The liberal attitude of most teachers and administrative offices is out of hand. Changes have to happen soon for the next generation because we are seeing the results from the last few years in our universities. I have grandchildren still very young and I pray everyday this will be resolved for their future. Amen

William Harper - May 19, 2017

Yes, we need to teach our population (both adults and school age) the Founding Fathers understanding of how our government should work for the people and how the Constitution they wrote and our States ratified directs our government servants to accomplish that. Hillsdale College has some good internet programs to help those with the desire to learn this.

Albert (Alberto) Castro Jr - May 19, 2017

I think it is extremely important to teach the future generations of young Americans on the principles this country was founded on. On the second part of the questions, I do not think the current public school systems do a good job of teaching about the founding principals. Why or why not is simple. Progressivism in the education systems nation wide

Ron W. Smith - May 19, 2017

There’s no question at all that founding principles should be taught, just as all historical, political, social issues and problems should be. Informed electorate means just that–“informed.”
Now, should they be taught as engraved on tablets and immutable? No. Ossification is a road that once taken is seldom left.

Paul D’Aigle - May 19, 2017

Our children are more often taught what is politically correct than what is actually correct, whether in history, politics, media, or even STEM studies. Too often we see individuals, educational (K-12 and college level) schools, and many non-profit and for-profit organizations teaching what they believe to garner followers rather than providing the facts and letting the students see what is true. The human species is not perfect by any means, but we can still practice to be honest and caring for the good of us all.

PHILBROOK K COLLINS - May 19, 2017

Our educational system has been undermined by the liberal left to the point that American values are not allowed to be taught. Instead, they promoted studies in islam. We desperately need to reclaim our country. College professors are self-proclaimed terrorists, poisoning the minds of our youth. NOT THE COUNTRY I WANT !

Kirit Mehta - May 19, 2017

Every comment here reflects my views so I won’t repeat.
Rush Limbaugh has done excellent job of writing children’s books, educating them about our country’s true history at their level. This is an effective way to counter our current public school system which fails to do so.

Eva Szabo - May 19, 2017

I am sure that most everyone knows the NEA. They were major contributors to Obama’s campaigns. As such, they say they represent the school systems, but indeed they do not, b/c there are conservative teachers. However, the teaching IS left leaned throughout and markedly so in the universities. They no longer teach civics: how to be a good citizen and the emphasis is on accepting everyone: which is good but it does not convey what this country was founded on: equality for everyone, not just the left. Lack of religion in society in general is one of the reasons this country has so many problems. There is no moral compass and parents do not really instruct their children or give guidance as to how to behave or what is moral and ethical.

Author Steven Lawrence - May 19, 2017

Thank you for your insight, Eva.

Carole Dudley - May 19, 2017

It is critical that the next generation be taught American history in an unbiased form, and educated on the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, etc. because an informed citizenry is essential to maintain liberty for posterity. Progressive liberal teachers and institutions of higher learning are instilling their own “corrected” versions of America and over-hyping our flaws, resulting in a lack of patriotism among our young people.
The young need to know the founding principles of our nation to take their civic responsibilities seriously, to have respect for America, and to protect this precious country.

andy raWICZ - May 19, 2017

colleges are mostly left wing and liberal often teaching obscure subjects, not related to practical achievement or work ethic, at high cost , some of which is due to laws designed to make everyone equal such as proposition10. high schools are a mixed bag depending on teacher.

Brenda - May 19, 2017

It is absolutely essential that the American political traditions based firmly and openly on the first person accounts of the founding fathers and a return to Classic Education including the Bible. The current “education” system would be more accurately be called an indoctrination system. With the exception of some hard sciences it relies on revisionist history, political correctness and the continued silence of Christians in the public square. American public education has declared the state god for the better part of two generations. The outcome has not been pretty. Conservative schools are few and far between and find it nearly impossible to get accredited without sacrificing their values. I agree with Gordon (first comment); We must pray!

Nelda Romrell - May 19, 2017

The current public school system is leaning so far left that not much of our founding principles, or American exceptionalism is allowed in the curriculum. I feel that we must, state by state begin to monitor the text books for left wing propaganda and also current tendency of giving so much place to Muslim training and ideology. If Christianity and Judaism have no place in the classroom, then, most certainly the Muslim theology has no place.
Thank You,
Nelda Romrell

Timothy R. Buttner - May 19, 2017

I think many Americans would be non-plussed were they to take a look at their local school board’s history and civics curricula. In my 42 years of teaching in a major city school system I have seen posters admiring Che Guevara in a history classroom, heard teachers tell students that they need to register Democrat, and a host of other anti-democracy ideology. If you have children in school, you need to get involved. If you do not, consider the effects on all of us that you are seeing acted out in public….

Darla Lee - May 19, 2017

If we have any chance of retaining some semblance of our republic, our public schools need to teach American history accurately, good and bad, but since Progressive ideology is rampant in the public school system, most students do not have a clue about the importance of the Constitution or the Founders. Common Core has only exacerbated the problem with increased testing, left-leaning curriculum and student data mining. The future of this nation is in jeopardy.

Pascal Imperato - May 19, 2017

John Adams said it best. “The highest story of the American Revolution is that in one indissoluble bond, it connected the principals of civil government with the principals of Christianity.” That uniqueness is why we are exceptional. Lets fight to keep our country from “progressive” destroyers and teach historical truth.

Charles Martel - May 19, 2017

It is essential to promulgate the principles on which the United States was founded. To the extent the public school system is committed to liberalism, to that extent the founding principles will be an anathema.

Jim Fitzpatrick - May 19, 2017

Where I live, the only issue for the board of Education is “black and white” politics. Education is secondary … whether it deals with this country’s founding principles or not.

James Strickland - May 19, 2017

Let me add another “NO!” to the chorus. I remember taking state and US history as well as civics courses during grade school. This no longer happens because the public school systems in this country, over the last 40 plus years, have become infested with liberals from pre-K to post-doctorate. Knowing America’s history doesn’t help their agenda to bring “change” to this nation. Bev Perdue (D-NC), one of the worst governors in NC history, actually proposed that NC public schools no longer teach American history prior to the Civil War!! The Governor was an NC public schools teacher. All this brings to mind the old saying; “Those who do not learn from the past are bound to repeat it”.

Christine Paul - May 19, 2017

Ditto here! I also heard it mentioned that perhaps it is time for “affirmative action” in hiring university professors! For every L, liberal, an equal # of R, conservative professors must be hired!

Robert Gillespie - May 19, 2017

First and foremost. Education developes self esteem. Solving many social issues.
CIVICS has to be returned to the curriculum. Most of our elected officials have never had any instruction in this topic.
HISTORY :I see many of our leaders and citizens trying to take us down a well worn path. Leading nowhere.

Lee Blakemore - May 19, 2017

All 8th grade public school students should pass a Constitution knowledge test BEFORE allowed to advance to the ninth grade. All tenth graders should pass an appropriate American Civics class before advancing to 11th grade.

Doug Halbrooks - May 19, 2017

But will this generation be amenable to the truth, or do they decide by feelings/emotion only as is the only thing the left has to offer–and they can’t deal in facts as they have none.

Harry Scott - May 19, 2017

I think every high school student should watch the PBS show on the Second World War. Just maybe they would under stand that freedom comes at Avery high price in human lives.

Larry Smith - May 19, 2017

The American education system is in trouble. They are throwing liberal nonsense at our children with little concept of what our founding fathers wanted.

j - May 19, 2017

I agree with the comments here and have been very concerned for many, many years what the elementary, high school and college students are taught about what this country was founded upon and the sacrifices and our relationships in the world..
In the1980s I enrolled in a Community College US History course as a refresher.
The “teacher” was well-liked in the community. He was very patient and sly in introducing the inadequacies of this country’s system, our greedy capitalism and the treacherousness of modern day Christianity in the world.
I have been praying that the NEA be dissolved or drastically corrected.

alleen fish - May 19, 2017

The youth of America need to be taught the truth not the liberalists way of history. They need to be taught that politically correct is actually wrong and discriminating. They should be taught by the word of God and not some Islamic way of life. The Constitution should also be taught as a required class by a person who knows it and not some liberal who thinks and preaches his own version of it. Bring back the correct History books and stop teaching all the rubbish and nonsense. Please help America preserve the artifacts and monuments of our History.

Miriam Good - May 19, 2017

Curriculum needs to be rewritten that teaches the truth about why America became a great nation.

Mary Jane Burgess - May 19, 2017

As a retired SS teacher of US History. Global Studies, Government, etc. I know that our real history is not being taught. I was expected to teach Islam-5pillars of the faith,etc and the Constitution was nowhere on my curriculum objectives. I would shut my door and teach every paragraph of the Constitution. I refused to join the teachers union because they heavily supported Dem candidates. Students were not held accountable for learning…no one got a failing grade even when the average was 35, 42, 51, etc. I felt I was lying but was forced by admin to give all passing grades. School was a joke to students… and today they think law and order is a joke. If this nation is to be saved, we must take education out of the hands of federal government and liberals and give it back to states and parents. Students are being heavily indoctrinated by the present system.

Ed Aiello - May 19, 2017

I agree with majority of these comments. Our schools must do a much better job at teaching truth, justice and honesty, America has no equal in the world, that is why most people want to come here.

John W. Curnow - May 19, 2017

because the only religion allowed in public school is Secular Humanism then it is no wonder our children grow up with no moral values and a life without the God of the Holy Scriptures. Almost no time is spent teaching civics or government and much less on the Constitution and what our founding fathers did.

Anne Fisher - May 19, 2017

The public schools are doing a poor job of teaching students about the principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is important that the next generation learn and value the history of our country and the price that was paid by patriots to earn the freedom we enjoy today.

BETTY MUNSON - May 19, 2017

When teachers unionized, my dad said, “The goes the American education system.”

I see this truth every day.

Cindy Klemm - May 20, 2017

Looking back, when History class became Social Studies, and students were given Time magaziine and no tests… the class became sleep time and everyone was happy not to memorize dates anymore.
Real history starts with God our Creator and His Bible.

G. Allan Barnes - May 20, 2017

Just a little curious as to why my post on American values/ principles wasn’t posted.

stephanie wilson - May 20, 2017

oh HECK NO!! they train our kids to be marxists. sickening!

Nancy J Norris - May 20, 2017

My opinion is that 50 years ago parents demanded respect from their children. They didn’t talk back and do what they wanted. Parents expected their children to help with the work at home and be a working part of the family, not sit and watch t.v. and on a computer. When you let them go for 20 years it is too late. The schools have had a major part in how children behave anywhere. The teachers were raised as I said above and no one spanked a child. There was no punishment in the last 40 years and the kids got used to doing what they wanted and the parent was not important. The child wanted Dad to make the money and they would buy them a car, pay the insurance and gas and the kid would do nothing. Kids today have no respect for the generations.

Gene Illich - May 20, 2017

the public schools don’t even teach american history

Larry Marteney - May 20, 2017

Our educators are consumed with being politically correct and biased toward the left..History tells an important story and is not always in a neat, pretty, package. They have taken God and patriotism, out of our schools as well. It is past time to bring those important elements back into the schools and teach our children there is two sides to every issue.

PATRICK McCLELLAN - May 20, 2017

The vast majority of public school educators are left leaning…I know, because half my family is. This is dangerous for two reasons: 1) most of them, honestly believe that they know what is right and best for the rest of us, a fact you can easily discern from even a short political discussion with them; and 2) they believe that the end justifies the means….so it is OK to ignore, or even make up facts, so long as the intent is to support a goal they believe is justified. It is simply not in their best interest to teach students critical thinking…so they do not.

Fred Hawkins - May 20, 2017

What’s happening in our country today is particularly worrying. While living overseas for several years I was told by a number of people that Americans visiting their country know little or nothing about it; nor do they seem to know anything about their own country. I have to agree with them. How do we expect the younger generation of people in our country, or future generations of Americans for that matter, to run our country if they aren’t taught civics or anything remotely resembling the history of our nation? If they have no idea where this nation has been, how can they even appreciate where they are, or what they need to do to avoid making past mistakes, or to live peaceably with other nations. Hiding their heads in the sand after being taught some politically correct nonsense will not provide them with the knowledge and skills required to solve our nation’s very serious problems.

Dr. Bill Shade - May 20, 2017

This country was founded upon Biblical principles. Our publicly funded school system has done more to alienate its students from the Bible than any other single entity. Most youth are not only completely ignorant of the Bible, but pretty sure that whatever it says has no relevance to them or anything of importance.

Charles Paine - May 20, 2017

extremely important for they will be running our government in the future and they will soon be voting therefore they need to understand how our constitution works and above all they need to hear truth.
today’s school children are being taught half truths and filtered information about those who founded this country.Read David Barton’s book “Original Intent”

charles M. - May 20, 2017

American Civics and History should be taught. .Politically correct history is what the Communists directed, and is warped. The American culture and education have been altered over generations. Culture and education now contain many elements that ere poison pills to what it should mean to being American Economic independence, and work ethic were much stronger, even during the lean years of the depression.

Henry C. Holder - May 20, 2017

It is imperative that the young (grades 2 up through grade 12) be taught and tested on their knowledge of the American Constitution. People immigratring to America must be taught the same and they need to live by our laws. Our current school system stinks!

Jeff Traylor - May 21, 2017

Yes our children must be taught more about the history of our country an the founding fathers. It is very important that they be taught about the Decleration of Independence, the Constitution and the federalist papers. They need to be taught why the documents were written and how they are constructed as they are.
The school systems today are run by people who want to disconnect the next generations from the past and are trying to teach that the government is the answer to every question or problem.
Remember that the people in charge now were the “hippies” of the 70’s.
They do not believe George Santayana’s statement that “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” We are products of our history and lack of knowledge about it leaves people un-grounded and easily manipulated.

Hank Raehn - May 21, 2017

I believe the Trump administration would do the nation one of its greatest favors by abolishing the department of education, by eliminating national testing standards and by doing what it can to eliminate at the federal level unions affecting education. By returning education to the local level and if Congress would pass the First Amendment Defense Act which has languished in the Ways and Means Committee when first introduced since June 2015, the nation would see a return to quality education.

Mona Mistric - May 21, 2017

Most teachers and professors are democrats and push their progressive beliefs. Most text books are authored by progressives; therefore, they are designed to indoctrinate students to their ideology.
The universities have implemented several special studies: African American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Oppression Studies, Women’s Studies, Islamophobia Studies, and even seminars on “How to Make a Revolution”. These studies divide the country-segregation is back.
We need textbooks by conservative authors, teaching about the Constitution and why our founding fathers configured the government the way they did.

Mona Mistric - May 21, 2017

Liberals push their ideas everywhere-schools, universities, TV shows and commercials, celebrities and musicians.
We must push for conservative ideas in the schools and across the nation to counteract the progressive overreach into our culture.

Veda Connolly - May 21, 2017

Our public schools have been bending the principals for the Constitution and the Bible lessons that teach morals. We had Bible School on Wednesday afternoon, and people walked to the various churches in the neighborhood to learn their faiths. The explosion of crime (of all kinds) has grown so much in the last 20 years, since my own children have been denied what I learned. I try to have discussions with my own on the various concepts of our faith and our Constitution on a regular bases. They have grown up to be productive, educated people.

Arthur Williams - May 21, 2017

Many Americans don’t know that this country was founded on and the constitution written on the principals found in the Bible.
They also don’t know that the Bible was the first text book.

Judy Brown - May 21, 2017

All they teach our children is left wing propaganda. The system is broke and we may as well set a match to our tax dollars going to education

Barb Doyle - May 22, 2017

It is very important!

No-The public schools do not teach history. They teach from a pre written documents that are approved for “common core” (not text books) mandatory for teachers to teach from. They are not allowed to use anything else in the classroom. According to a source in the Corunna Michigan Public Schools, the document that is provided is not history as it actually happened, but history as being re-written for political correctness and the teachers are not allowed to expand or teach from anything else. Huge problem to teaching the Constitution if you cannot teach history as it was. Our young are being dumped down.

James Schmerbauch - May 22, 2017

It seems clear that founding principles and national history are not being well taught in public schools for many years. It seems that beginning in the 1960s the nation, education included, has gone adrift from God, Christianity, and family principles. Hillsdale and Ashbrook colleges are working to correct this problem, in part by free on-line classes, and by teaching teachers what has been missing.from their preparation as teachers of U. S. history and constitutional government.

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