School Superintendent van Zant: “It is vital that we teach…a true account of American history, and what made this nation exceptional.”


Superintendent van Zant

Superintendent van Zant

By Bill Korach


Clay County School Superintendent Charlie van Zant is sponsoring an educational summit called “Dare to Think” on November 4th and 5th in support of more thorough and balanced instruction in American history and civics. In Superintendent van Zant’s words: “It is vital that we teach our children a true account of American history, and to share with them the elements that made this nation exceptional.  We need to encourage an interest in American history and the founding principles.”


Clay County, should attend to learn about how these history programs will be implemented. Non-residents can learn how to implement these kinds of programs in their home counties, and how to conduct textbook reviews that eliminate biased or misleading textbooks.


These columns have more often than not, covered stories of textbooks and class programs that seem to always “blame American first” as Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick used to say. It is a man bites dog story when a school Superintendent van Zant actually calls for a better understanding and appreciation of what makes America such a wonderful country and why so many citizens of other countries still see America as the land of opportunity.


Event Details


The Clay County School District and The Report Card are proud to present a Dare to Think conference on restoring history and civics to its proper place in education. From November 4 – 5 attendees will learn how American Exceptionalism and pride in America’s heritage of liberty are being restored in our public and charter schools. Buy your tickets before October 18th and save 21%. Click on the banner or the button on the right of the page to register.


The American Council of Trustees and Alumni in their report entitled “Losing Our National Memory” offered this research of American Universities: “100% do not require American History, and 78% require no history at all.” It is scarcely better in high schools. Joel Klein, J.D. former Commissioner of NYC Public Schools said: “Our kids are clueless about global history. And foreigners know more about de Tocqueville and the Constitution than Americans. Our kid’s ignorance of civics is a serious problem.” The NAEP says that only 12% of high school students are proficient in American History.


Outstanding Speakers and Topics


Clay County School District Superintendent Charlie van Zant shares plans to reinforce American history instruction, and the concept of “American Exceptionalism as first discussed by Alexis de Tocqueville.


Dr. Daniel Scoggin CEO of Great Hearts Charter Management Organization, operator of 16 top performing Charter Schools in Arizona. 95% of Great Hearts students attend a four-year college; Average SAT score is 1833, highest in the state of Arizona “The Role of a Classical Education for morality and citizenship.”


Dr. Peter Wood, President National Association of Scholars. NAS mission is to promote academic freedom at America’s colleges and universities topic:Fuhgeddaboudit:  How Schools and Colleges Foster Historical Amnesia

Mr. Paul Horton History Department, University of Chicago Laboratory School; Topic: Challenging the Tyranny of History Textbooks. Use great history books and avoid “blame America first” textbooks!


Rev. Marty McCarthy, President Cornerstone Educational Foundation, former President of Regent Schools of the Carolinas, Inc., and rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Charelotte, NC will chair a panel discussion on moral concerns:

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” Theodore Roosevelt


Mr. Will Fitzhugh, President of the Concord Review, publishing the best High School papers in America. Topic: “Reading maketh a Full man, Conference a Ready man, and Writing an exact man.” Francis Bacon, 1625. Fitzhugh says: “We are not asking our students to read history books, to discuss them or to write serious papers of their own. And their education is seriously diminished as a result.”


Armand Alacby, JD. Director of Trustee Programs American Conference of Trustees and Alumni. ACTA is committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America’s colleges and universities. Topic: “We are loosing our National Memory, and the free markets are under attack”


President James Monroe will speak on the importance of understanding the historical importance of the Monroe Doctrine. President Monroe will provide an after dinner speech sure to delight. Nationally recognized actor Dennis Bigelow plays President Monroe.


Attendees will learn from six nationally recognized speakers how public and charter schools will:


  • Instill an appreciation of American Exceptionalism and heritage
  • Engender an appreciation of historical benefits of the Free Markets in America
  • Drive an understanding of America’s place in the world
  • Develop excellent reading and writing skills
  • Offers business attendees an opportunity to participate in promoting history and learn about proven charter schools, Great Hearts Academies
  • Offer a clear timetable and methodology for implementation


Great Hearts Charter Schools CEO Dr. Dan Scoggin will demonstrate how his schools perform in the top 5% of all Arizona schools though a classical education and a respect for Western Values.


The event tickets are $125 each, but purchase before October 18th, save 21% and pay just $99.00. Price includes full conference access, Five meals catered by Anthony’s and the Founding Fathers dinner theater performance.


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