The Civics Alliance gave solid testimony support on May 9 for Ohio HB 103, which would establish a task force to revise Ohio’s K–12 social studies standards based upon the American Birthright model. Three individuals provided in-person testimony: David Randall (Civics Alliance), Jonathan Pidluzny (America First Policy Institute), and Adam Kissel (personally, but he is affiliated with the Heritage Foundation). Further written testimony was provided by the Common Sense Society, Marc Clauson (Cedarville University, Ohio), Linda Ireland (Teacher/Tutor, Ohio), Robert Maranto (University of Arkansas), Alex Nester (Parents Defending Education), Dave Peterson (Alabama), Craig Rhyne (Freedom Education Foundation), and Vicki Rich (President, Civics Alliance Ohio Affiliate).
The in-person testimony was solid in numbers, and solidly delivered—but the written testimony is a tribute to the hard work of the Civics Alliance membership. The Civics Alliance is grateful to its members, who provided wonderfully solid support when it was needed and set up HB 103 well for further legislative progress.
The Civics Alliance and its members have not guaranteed success for HB 103 this year—even in the most sympathetic states, legislative campaigns frequently take several years. But we are in a good position to give testimony and otherwise support a Senate version of HB 103, and to rally public opinion to encourage Governor Mike DeWine to sign the bill if and when it passes both houses of the Ohio legislature. We are also in a good position to bring bills based on HB 103 to other states. Our success makes possible more work ahead.
A note: Brendan Gillis of the American Historical Association (AHA) gave interested party testimony to oppose HB 103. The AHA generally is increasingly opposed to K–12 civics education reform legislation. Civics Alliance members with doctorates in history therefore will be particularly useful to submit testimony going forward, to inform policymakers that the AHA does not represent all historians.
But that is for the future. Right now: thank you, Civics Alliance members! This is a week for the Civics Alliance membership to be proud.
Photo by Adobe Stock