FOX & Friends Weekend host Pete Hegseth joined The Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI Tuesday to discuss a new special available now on Fox Nation called The Miseducation of America on FOX Nation.
Hegseth, a father of seven, told Hoffman that he was inspired to do the special for his kids. "It's them, it's those kids. It's what kind of future I'm passing to them… it's your kids and grandkids and everybody who's invested in the future of this nation."
"There's this moment where you realize, what are they being taught? COVID-19 brought the classroom into our homes. A lot of that curriculum was exposed in ways that otherwise had always been kept at school."
"I had kids at home, everybody had kids at home, educating them ourselves… You kind of realized (about the educational material) 'How bad is this? When did this start?' I linked up with some education folks that have done a lot of the research, and we went around the country for almost a year and a half, talking to the smartest folks on this issue and it became a passion project."
"This is a 100 year progressive takeover of our classrooms, from the teacher's unions to the curriculum, to the way they teach, to the funding, to the standards, to what they removed From the classroom, which is most significant... and then you start to understand where critical race theory, where gender theory, where climate activism, where all of that comes from."
Hegseth told Hoffman his moment of realization of how bad things had gotten in the schools was when he read the 1619 Project, written by Nicole Hannah-Jones for The New York Times.
Hegseth said that "…the idea that the founding of our nation in 1776 is wrong, and our nation was actually founded the year slaves arrived. And it doesn't matter that Nicole Hannah Jones’s entire thesis… is made up and debunked by historians. It's the narrative that they are going to teach kids, that America is a racist country, a bad country founded on slavery. It's a slave-ocracy. And I remember seeing that, looking at that and in the first sentence of what The New York Times wrote, 'This is an attempt to reframe America's entire history.'"
"They're just going for it. They want to tear down the entirety of our history. And it's not that I don't want to talk about the flaws of our past. Of course, I do. Everybody does. But if you set out to make America evil from the beginning, you get an entirely different cascading set of effects. And so that's why I call what happened with COVID 'The COVID 1619 moment.'"
Hegseth added that many parents did not notice what was being taught until "…stuck in our homes, looking through zoom classrooms, a lot of this stuff was splashed across our kids' screens in ways we never knew before. Parents are revolting, they're looking for options, realizing our local government schools are co-opted by progressives."
Hegseth and Hoffman agreed that the problem has also spread to the private schools.
The Fox host continued, "A lot of our Christian schools, they use the same progressive model of education, it's woke and parents are looking for options."
"This series is meant to affirm their fears...but then also encourage parents and grandparents to radically reorient how they educate their kids, because just hoping you can deprogram them when they come home from Democrat camp every day is not going to get it done."
Hegseth described how widespread the progressive indoctrination is. "It's urban schools. It's rural schools. It's suburban schools. It's rich schools. It's poor schools. It's private schools. It’s public schools, it’s the way education is delivered in America today. I got a progressive education. And so did you. And most of us had no idea, and it may not have been as blatant when we were in high school or elementary school, but they were trying to push their same schemes, and they're more radical today. Don't think your kids are insulated."
"So, the next question is what do you do? My first answer, and all the experts we have on the series say, leave. Leave the public schools, leave the government schools, they're gone."
"It's good you can protest at school board meetings, and I salute that, but most, most of the time, they'll just shrug you aside and keep doing exactly what they've been doing, because most of these school boards are captured by the unions, and you win one election cycle, that's great, and they wait you out, and unions wait you out."
"I would advocate for universal educational tax credits the money to follow the student in whatever direction the parents would like to guide that money. That should be a number one for the conservative and patriotic moment… full school choice, whether it's vouchers or tax credits. I prefer to not to go through the government. So, I like tax credits better than vouchers, and that should be a policy proposal. No doubt."
"And then my personal choice is classical Christian education. There's a network of hundreds of schools across America. It's true liberal arts education. It's God in the classroom. It's Athens and Jerusalem. It's Western civilization. It's great books. It's Judeo-Christian values. That's what I want for my kids. That's where I send my kids to school. Most people are not even aware of classical Christian education. I want to raise awareness about. And help some people choose it."
"Inside the Catholic schools, inside the Christian schools, Lutheran schools, they fled the public schools to get into religious schools and thinking, okay, my kids are safe and maybe they were good when you went. It's not that way anymore."
"Look at the universities, look to the Ivy league schools, all of which were founded as religious institutions to train ministers, today God isn't even allowed…we know those are Marxists dens. We know that, but we assume our local Catholic or Jewish high school is going to be dedicated to the religion. That's not the case, the private schools for the most part have also lost their way on wokeness and progressive education. You have to be super intentional to rediscover the foundational ingredients of Western civilization and of Athens and Jerusalem."
FOX Nation will host "The Miseducation of America" live forum moderated by Hegseth Thursday, January 20 at 9 am from the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia, and feature speakers including Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Winsome Sears, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy along with panels spotlighting parents and educators, among others. Additional commentary will be provided by FOX News Channel (FNC) contributor Charlie Hurt, political analyst and former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain, Senior Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment Kathy Kersten, and more.
You can register for the event here.
In conjunction with the summit, FOX Nation will release a new special entitled, The Miseducation of America on Tuesday, January 18. Hosted by Hegseth, the five-part series will examine how the American education system has evolved over the last hundred years as well as the current state of the classroom, including the shift to more progressive content in today’s curriculum. Hegseth will also speak with educational leaders including the President of the Association of Classical & Christian Schools David Goodwin, professors and authors to discuss the issues surrounding today’s classroom.