Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Mitch Daniels Sticks By Criticism Of Liberal Historian, Disputes AP Story

Gov. Mitch Daniels, soon to be Purdue's 12th president.

Former Gov. Mitch Daniels announces he will lead Purdue University.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels is firing back after the Associated Press printed emails the former governor exchanged with education officials and staff about a textbook written by a liberal historian.

In a 2010 email exchange, Daniels asked if Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” was being taught in Indiana. Speaking Wednesday, Daniels called the article “utter distortion” but says he stands by his decision the book shouldn’t be used.

From WBAA reporter Mike Loizzo:

“Look who I was communicating with,” says Daniels. “I didn’t talk to anybody at the Commission for Higher Education or anywhere else. I simply was inquiring about the K-12 system and asking whether this false, misleading version of American history had found its way into Indiana classrooms.”

But Daniels says he supports academic freedom and thinks university professors should be free to include whatever they want in their courses.

He says he’s had a few conversations with Purdue faculty since the AP story came out, and says those who have heard both sides understand his perspective.

Daniels also says he thinks the AP article was unfair because it brought in a separate, 2009 email exchange about an Indianapolis University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor who had been a vocal opponent of the governor’s education agenda.

Comments

  • Karynb9

    I think a “separate exchange” is frequently referred to as “supporting evidence” when it comes to proving a point. It’s actually an important part of Common Core, Mr. Daniels.

  • bluegillna

    The primary strategy discussed in the emails involves using state controlled standards to force changes in the university curriculum applicable to teachers. It’s no wonder Daniels struggles with Zinn: he either just prefers politically calculated fiction or suffers reading comprehension deficiencies.

  • TimNFtWayne

    Daniels current claim is that he was only discussing K-12, not college.
    You can read the whole exchange and see if you think this is the truth.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/154313024/Mitch-Daniels-Emails

    When Daniels refers to “professional development,” I think he is
    clearly talking about college curricula. At this point, he is responding
    to an e-mail which specifically references the IU Bloomington School of
    Education.

    I think Daniels is engaging in a little “revisionist history” of his own.

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