CONCORD, NH — Today the New Hampshire Board of Education voted to table Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut’s request for PragerU content and courses be used for New Hampshire high school graduation requirements.
PragerU — a far-right political non-profit, which is not an accredited educational institution and does not confer degrees — has come under fire in recent days for openly racist education content which is now being taught in Florida public schools.
In response, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley released the following statement:
"We welcome the decision to table this divisive and troubling application from PragerU. It reflects a significant retreat by far-right conservative forces in the New Hampshire Department of Education. New Hampshire's classrooms must remain places where students are encouraged to explore diverse ideas and form independent judgments."
“I applaud those within the community who stood up against this proposal. I urge Commissioner Edelblut and his team to reflect on this outcome and work toward policies that genuinely enhance educational excellence, free from partisan influence.
“This retreat is a victory for every advocate of objective, quality education, but it does not mark the end of our responsibility. We must stay vigilant and continue to work to ensure that our educational values are never compromised.”
The program has come under fire for what some call its misleading views on climate change, slavery and racism, immigration, history of fascism and its anti-LGBTQ bent. On its website, PragerU Kids says it teaches “American Values” while “Woke agendas are infiltrating classrooms, culture and social media.”
Former House Education Committee Chair, Rep. David Luneau, D-Hopkinton, said a report last fall noted the Learn Everywhere Program has few kids taking advantage of it, but that has not stopped Commissioner Frank Edelblut from bringing more programs onto it. “But Prager goes beyond questionable,” Luneau said, “and some argued its right along the road to fascism.”
The application, on the agenda for the Thursday meeting of the state Board of Education, says students could get the required half-credit for financial literacy by watching 15 videos, each about 5 minutes long, that comprise what it calls its Crash Course. The videos are free and their use is self-directed.
Founded by conservative talk show host Dennis Prager in 2009, it is best known for five-minute videos with titles like “Make Men Masculine Again,” “Healthcare Is Not a Right” and “The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party,” as well as videos that question the reality of climate change and the role of slavery in the Civil War.
Orlando Sentinel: PragerU videos teach Florida students that slavery wasn’t so bad
The Florida Department of Education’s embrace of Prager’s controversial classroom offerings, especially the sanitized reassessment of slavery, coincides with the adoption of controversial new middle school history standards that, among other offensive takes, inform students that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
Newsweek: Frederick Douglass Depiction in PragerU Slavery Video Called 'Sickening'
The non-profit organization, which has previously faced controversy over host comments on the n-word and the Holocaust, provides educational content to public and private schools. Last week, it was approved as an official vendor by the Florida Department of Education.