Deborah Menkart, the Executive Director of Teaching for Change and Co Director of the Zinn Education Project, called for President Trump to be charged with mass murder. The basis of her argument is that he is personally responsible for all the deaths that occur in the United States that may have a connection to the coronavirus pandemic. While many may dismiss Ms. Menkart’s opinion as insignificant, what makes her opinion very significant is the fact that the two organizations that she leads are extremely influential in the educational field.

Teaching for Change and the Zinn Education Project have been featured by many national councils of education, and conduct seminars and professional development events for educators throughout the United States. The two organizations boast of at least 100,000 teachers using their teaching materials. With an average size class of 21 in the United States, this means at a minimum, the teachers who are using their materials are influencing 210,000 students a year. If these teachers have five classes a day and 21 students per class, that number could be as high as 1.05 million. While this should frighten the public, still there is something even more troubling; the Zinn Education Project is an official partner of Newsela.

Newsela is a company that specializes in writing news articles at varying reading levels for students. The articles have corresponding quizzes which adds to its appeal to be used in the classroom. How frequent? Newsela is used by at least 90% of all schools, and that was before the company received a 50-million-dollar investment to expand their services. With this investment, they aim to replace textbooks with the articles they write from various sources, including the Zinn Education Project and Al Jazeera.

Some of the articles that Newsela has adapted from the Zinn Education Project include articles like: “What we don’t learn about the Black Panther Party — but should,” “Missing from Presidents Day: The people they enslaved,” and “We learn about Columbus, but not the Taíno people he tried to erase.”