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Arizona Department of Education website will feature materials from a conservative nonprofit

A platform founded by conservative talk show host Dennis Prager will now have its materials posted on the Arizona Department of Education’s website. 

Prager U makes instructional videos for children. The content has been heavily criticized for controversial claims, like one in a videowhere an animated version of Christopher Columbus speaks about slavery.

“Being taken as a slave is better than being killed, no? I don’t see the problem,” he says. 

“That’s what he believed, and you wouldn’t want to put words in his mouth that he didn't believe. That’s objective truth about what Christopher Columbus believed,” Republican state school superintendent Tom Horne said of the Columbus video. 

He said critics miss the point by omitting that the other characters in the video tell Columbus that slavery isn’t accepted anymore in the present.

Horne said the materials are helpful because they’re a remedy for left-wing ideology. “For too long the left has dominated both in the universities and in K-12, and we need some alternative viewpoints,” he said.

“We do have an ideological viewpoint; and that is a patriotic wholesome viewpoint. We don't support a political agenda, we support an ideological agenda,” PragerU CEO Merissa Streit said.

Horne says schools won’t be required to use the materials the education department is going to post online. 

Arizona joins states like Florida, Montana, New Hampshire and Oklahoma, which have adopted similar partnerships with the organization.

Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.