Utah General Education reform … a critique of the Connecticut social studies standards … a new accreditation policy brief … Senate interest in literacy … All this and more in the latest Resolute 

Utah’s General Education Act

Utah Senate Bill 226 (2024), informed by a Civics Alliance model bill, would have transformed Utah public universities’ general education requirements, by turning distribution requirements into a core curriculum and setting up an autonomous School of General Studies to teach them. The bill didn’t pass this year, but it’s been set up for a good chance for successin next year’s legislative session.

Disowned Yankees

The National Association of Scholars and the Civics Alliance have published a critique of Connecticut’s new K-12 social studies standards. This critique, as the critique of Rhode Island’s social studies standards last year, is meant to build long-term support for reform of social studies within Connecticut—and to alert education reformers in the rest of the country what will be imposed on their states, if the far-left  advocates get their way.

DEI Restriction Bills

New DEI restriction bills have been introduced in IdahoIndianaKentucky, and West Virginia. These register a continuing public appetite to remove radical politicization from higher education—and from education in general.

A Note from A Senate Staffer on Literacy

The staffer writes:

Today, Senator Cassidy released a report on student literacy. I wanted to take a moment to provide you all with a little context and our thinking on releasing the report.

The goal of the report is to layout the problems we’re seeing with student literacy (including how we got here—thanks to unions, school closures, SEL, and discipline issues), highlight the science of reading, and solicit stakeholder feedback. 

Between now and April 5th we want to get as many responses as possible to the ‘questions for consideration’ at the end of the report—sent to Literacy@help.senate.gov. Specifically, would love more engagement from conservative stakeholders on this issue. We’ve found they are leading the charge on this at the state level but are being left out of the national conversation.  

We’ll use that feedback to spur conversations with stakeholders to thoughtfully work towards literacy policy. Don’t want to kill momentum states have on science of reading or make this a federal issue—but want to think critically about how we can ensure that schools are doing their basic job of teaching kids to read.  

Around the Nation: Worth Reading

Testimony

Would you like to be on a list of people prepared to give testimony in favor of a state bill to reform civics education? If so, please get in touch with me: randall@nas.org. We need people ready to testify in all 50 states—ideally, with some personal tie to the education system, but testimony from any citizen would be good.

State Social Studies Standards: What’s Coming Up

  • Alaska: Alaska’s Department of Education contracted with the American Institutes for Research to provide draft social studies standards. These draft standards are scheduled to be submitted to the State Board of Education and posted for public comment in March of 2024.
  • West Virginia: Social studies standards were reviewed through January 2024, and will be presented to the State Board of Education in April 2024.

If you have news we don’t please write in and say! But as far as we can tell, that is the state of play for the present moment.

Civics Alliance Now Has Ten State Affiliates 

The Civics Alliance is building a network of state affiliates—groups dedicated to removing action civics in their states, whom we will list on our website. Our newest state affiliate is Nebraska, run by Dennis Applegarth. Welcome, Dennis and Nebraska! We now have ten affiliates, in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Texas. If you would like to form such an organization, or suggest an existing organization, please get in touch with David Randall (randall@nas.org).

Monthly American Birthright Zoom Meeting 

The Civics Alliance will have its monthly Zoom session devoted to social studies standards reform on Monday, March 25, at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. Please email randall@nas.org if you would like to join these monthly Zoom meetings.

Social Studies Standards Revision Schedule 

2024/Current: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Kentucky (partial), Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

2025: Kentucky, Nebraska, Texas

2026: Colorado, Maryland, North Dakota, South Carolina

2027: Hawaii, Kansas

2029: Louisiana

2030: Minnesota

2031: Illinois

No Revision Currently Scheduled: California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.

Please email David Randall (randall@nas.org) if you are interested in further information about your state’s social studies revision process, and what you can do to participate.

Continuing Priorities: Federal Legislation 

At the federal level, the Civics Secures Democracy Act threatens to impose action civics nationwide.

The Civics Bill Tracker 

Civics Alliance supporters may now use the Civics Bill Tracker to track all proposed federal and state legislation related to civics.

Public Action 

We encourage Civics Alliance supporters to inform the public and policymakers about the stakes and consequences of action civics bills.


David Randall is Executive Director of the Civics Alliance and Director of Research at the National Association of Scholars.

Photo by pololia on Adobe Stock

Author