Education Departments don’t think genocide studies apply to Hamas massacres of Israelis and international citizens. New American history curriculum is coming down the pike. Legislative testimony workshops are coming up. All this and more in the latest Resolute …
Hamas and Genocide
We have noted for some years that “Holocaust studies,” “genocide studies,” and “Ethnic studies” all have been perverted to justify Palestinian terror against Israelis. The support and/or extenuation for the horrific Hamas murders of more than 1,000 Israeli and international citizens underscore this point. The Civics Alliance does not think there should be any “Holocaust studies” or “genocide studies” mandated at all, since they predictably are used for polemics against America, the West, and Israel. But where Holocaust and genocide studies exist, state legislators might consider bills that revise these statutes to mandate instruction that the Hamas Charter is genocidal in intent, and the October 2023 massacres genocidal in practice. Education bureaucracies cannot be trusted to act on their own: Oregon’s Education Department, for example, has taken the massacres as a prompt for moral equivalence and the application of the therapeutic state. We expect the same will be done around the country—absent legislative action.
New American History Instruction
On a happier note, the Goldwater Institute’s Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy has just announced a new collaboration with AAT Education to develop a new high school American history curriculum, based on Wilfred McClay’s excellent textbook, Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story.
AAT Education, which specializes in development and implementation of high-quality testing, teacher training, and curriculum resources, will develop a full two-semester-long, off-the-shelf-ready suite of lesson plans, curated primary source readings, and supporting materials for public, private, and home-based schools and educators looking for an academically rich curriculum free from revisionism or radical political activism.
Development of this new curriculum, which will be completed in 2025 for use alongside the Land of Hope textbook, will ensure that American high school students have access to the highest quality content in the leadup to the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
This is great news not only for Arizona, the home of the Goldwater Institute, but for civics reformers around the nation. The Goldwater/AAT curriculum will be an excellent resource for parents and teachers. Just as importantly, the cooperation between the Goldwater Institute and AAT Education is also a model for how civics reformers can work to make such curricula available. We encourage civics reformers to find out how this new curriculum was crafted, and not just to use it.
State Legislative Testimony
We wrote in our last Resolute about the need for good models of legislative testimony. We now have some, from Bruce Gilley, president of the Oregon Association of Scholars—along with a recommendation to look at testimony by Mary Beth Miller of the Independent Women’s Forum, as a good example of how to give testimony. People interested in model testimony, both for the K-12 level against CRT and at the higher education level against DEI, should send an email (to firstname.lastname@example.org) for a copy.
The National Association of Scholars expects to run a workshop, for members only, on how to conduct legislative testimony. If you’re not a member—well, consider becoming one! But also send me an email, so you might be added to the invitation list.
State Social Studies Standards: What’s Coming Up
- Maine: Maine’s Department of Education is in the final stages of preparing its draft revised social studies standards, and will probably release them in early October 2023. There will be a public comment period in early October. We will read the draft ASAP and prepare comment.
- 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 will be reviewed through January 2024, and then 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 (email@example.com).
Monthly American Birthright Zoom Meeting
The Civics Alliance will have its monthly Zoom session devoted to social studies standards reform on Monday, October 30, at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. Please email firstname.lastname@example.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
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 (email@example.com) 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 members may now use the Civics Bill Tracker to track all proposed federal and state legislation related to civics.
We encourage Civics Alliance members 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.
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