The radical higher education establishment has begun to politicize the gateway requirements to higher education—admissions requirements, transfer requirements, general education requirements, competencies, learning objectives, and student learning outcomes. Colleges and universities around the country have adopted Diversity general education requirements, which require students to take anti-American radical propaganda, and usually substitute for any genuine education in the humanities or social sciences. Administrative actions to impose Diversity and Social Justice requirements in such administrative matters as competencies, learning objectives, and student learning outcomes have begun to impose diversity ideology on all undergraduate courses.
In California, meanwhile, the University of California Academic Council is considering whether to require incoming students to have taken a course in Ethnic Studies, which will
create and honor anti-colonial and liberatory movements that struggle for social justice on global and local levels… Engage in the critical study of struggles, locally and globally, against systems and ideas that attempt to divide and conquer people…Critique histories of imperialism, dehumanization, and genocide to expose how they are connected to present-day ideologies, systems and dominant cultures that perpetuate racial violence, white supremacy, and other forms of oppression.
The attempt to seize control of university admissions requirements will affect high school curricula, since high schools will naturally alter their courses to qualify their students for colleges. The radical higher education establishment threatens to seize control not only of higher education but also of high school education.
In so doing, they convert higher education and high school into propaganda machines. They also waste enormous amounts of tuition dollars—both directly for classes of no educational value, and indirectly to pay for teachers who can parrot propaganda but not educate. They betray the mission of the university in any institution, private or public, but in public ones they also betray the public university’s mission to provide a cost-effective and nonpartisan education for the citizens of the state.
State boards of trustees should take responsibility for vetoing the vast majority of diffuse administrative maneuvers by the radical education establishment to impose their ideology on the public universities. State policymakers, however, can and should play a role in preserving depoliticized gateway requirements—the requirements for admission into and graduation from the universities, and the competencies, learning objectives, and student learning outcomes that affect all courses. State policymakers should make it possible for students in public universities to avoid required propaganda.
We provide here a model bill gives the state legislature and the governor the power to veto proposed higher education gateway requirements at public universities. Our model bill adapts an Oklahoma statute that applies to public K-12 content matter standards, as well as our own Legislative Review Act. This bill will act both to deter the radical establishment from proposing ideological gateway requirements in the first place, and to prevent them from enacting them if they have been proposed. It will allow policymakers to support Boards of Regents against recalcitrant university administrations—and to act when Boards of Regents do not fulfill their public duty.
This bill will require precise modification for each state. We have defined “higher education gateway requirements” precisely in Section A [“Definitions”], but we know that each public university system has a unique set of gateway requirements, and uses unique terminology to refer to them. We expect that each state will adopt language suited to its own public university system.
Model Legislative Text
Section A [“Definitions”]
“Higher education gateway requirements” means “all admissions requirements, transfer requirements, general education requirements, competencies, learning objectives, student learning outcomes, and any other requirement by a university or college for the admission, transfer of credits, graduation, certification, or any award of degree of undergraduate students in a publicly funded college or university.”
All higher education gateway requirements and revisions to the higher education gateway requirements adopted by the State Board of Regents, or by any publicly funded university, shall be subject to legislative review as set forth in this section. The higher education gateway requirements shall not be implemented by the State Board of Regents or by any publicly funded university until the legislative review process is completed as provided for in this section.
Upon adoption of any higher education gateway requirements, the State Board of Regents, and any affected publicly funded university, each shall submit the adopted higher education gateway requirements to the Speaker of the House of Representatives or a designee and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate or a designee prior to the last thirty (30) days of the legislative session.
By adoption of a joint resolution, the Legislature shall approve the higher education gateway requirements, disapprove the higher education gateway requirements in whole or in part, amend the higher education gateway requirements in whole or in part or disapprove the higher education gateway requirements in whole or in part with instructions to the State Board of Regents, provided that such joint resolution becomes law. If the joint resolution is vetoed by the Governor and the veto has not been overridden, the higher education gateway requirements shall be deemed approved. If the Legislature fails to adopt a joint resolution within thirty (30) legislative days following submission of the higher education gateway requirements, the higher education gateway requirements shall be deemed approved.
If the higher education gateway requirements are disapproved in whole or are disapproved in whole with instructions as provided for in this section, the State Board of Regents, or the publicly funded university, may adopt new higher education gateway requirements and submit the new higher education gateway requirements for legislative review pursuant to this section. The State Board of Regents shall continue to implement current higher education gateway requirements in place until the new higher education gateway requirements have been reviewed by the Legislature and approved as provided for in this section. If the higher education gateway requirements are amended, approved in part or are disapproved in part with instructions, the State Board of Regents may revise the higher education gateway requirements in accordance with the legislative changes and implement the higher education gateway requirements.
Upon final approval of the higher education gateway requirements, the higher education gateway requirements shall be considered final agency rules. All higher education gateway requirements approved and published as provided for in this subsection shall have the same force and effect of law as agency rules.
Unless otherwise provided by specific vote of the Legislature, joint resolutions introduced for purposes of approving, disapproving, amending or disapproving with instructions any higher education gateway requirements shall not be subject to regular legislative cutoff dates, shall be limited to such provisions as may be necessary for approving, disapproving, amending or disapproving with instructions any higher education gateway requirements and any such other direction or mandate regarding the higher education gateway requirements deemed necessary by the Legislature. The joint resolution shall contain no other provisions.
All existing higher education gateway requirements must be submitted to the Legislature for review within one year of the passage into law of this bill.
Section I [“Severability”]
If any provision of this chapter, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this chapter and the application of its provisions to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.
The National Association of Scholars, in consultation with other supporters and friends of the Civics Alliance, drafted these model bills to translate into legislative language the principles in the Civics Alliance’s Civics Curriculum Statement & Open Letter. Just as these bills have been drafted with the expectation that different states will modify them as they see fit, they also have been drafted with the expectation that not every supporter of the Civics Alliance will endorse these bills or every part of them. Individual Civics Alliance signatories and supporters should not be assumed to have endorsed these bills, unless they say so explicitly.