Iowa social studies reform legislation … Indiana legislation to reform DEI … Testimony in Maine … All this and more in the latest Resolute 

Iowa Legislation

The National Association of Scholars and the Civics Alliance enthusiastically endorse Iowa House Bill 2330 (2024), which reforms Iowa’s public K-12 social studies instruction and public university instruction. House Bill 2330, co-sponsored by 27 Representatives, including Speaker Pat Grassley, thoroughly reforms the basic approach to social studies instruction in civics, United States history, and Western Civilization. The bill:

  • bases social studies instruction on primary documents,
  • creates a required civic literacy exam both for high school and for college,
  • bars “action civics” both in K-12 and in university instruction,
  • centers instruction around the history of America’s ideals and institutions of liberty and republican self-government, and
  • requires dedicated instruction in Western Civilization rather than in World History.

House Bill 2330 generally reorients social studies instructions around appreciation of our country and our civilization.

We are honored that House Bill 2330 has been informed by some of our own model bills, including the Partisanship Out of Civics Act, the Classroom Learning Act, the Civics Course Act, and the United States History Act. We drafted these model bills with the hope that they would inspire state legislators. We are delighted that they have done so, and that Iowa’s state legislators have modified our suggestions thoughtfully and effectively to suit Iowa’s schools.

Indiana Legislation

Indiana Senate Bill 202 does some good work to reform DEI in Indiana public universities, although it could do more. Basically, it tries to reorient DEI bureaucracy to work for intellectual diversity, plus some institutional neutrality and transparency requirements. This is all to the good—but if you don’t get rid of the DEI bureaucracy, you can’t expect any real change. Education reformers ought to be in favor of bills like this, while realizing that you’ve got to do much more to get real change accomplished.

Indiana Attorney General Announces an “Eyes on Education” Initiative

The Indiana Attorney General, Todd Rokita, has just made public a website “Eyes on Education” where the public can both submit and view relevant information about public schools in the state of Indiana. On the whole, this sounds like a welcome development to forward transparency in the K-12 schools. On the other hand, there’s already some pushback—claims that Rokita’s office is posting out of date documents, some referring to policies that already have been rescinded. You expect the schools to say negative things about oversight, and the “it’s already been rescinded” line is a classic bureaucratic dodge. On the other hand, it’s also possible that Attorney General Rokita’s office is a little imperfect in its execution of the new policy, and needs to up its game to be absolutely sure they’re publicizing up-to-date bad policies by Indiana schools. Generally, education reformers should take inspiration from Attorney General Rokita’s initiative! But they also should make sure that similar initiatives are done well, so that the execution matches the promises of the press release. 

Maine Testimony

The Maine legislature’s Joint Committee on Education is considering a bill to put into effect the Department of Education’s draft Social Studies Standards. We already sent a sharp critique of the draft Standards to the Department of Education; we have revised that for testimony to the Maine legislature.

Since the Maine legislature is generally sympathetic to the education establishment, we fear the Standards indeed will receive legislative sanction. But it is always worthwhile providing testimony—to inform legislators and the public, and to work for education reform in the long haul.

NCSS Book List: The Usual Subjects

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has a NCSS Book List for 2023 that is predictably politicized. Generally it follows identity politics conventions; the sharp politicization is best registered by several books on the list:

A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth

Lola Out Loud: Inspired by the Childhood of Activist Dolores Huerta

Mama in Congress: Rashida Tlaib’s Journey to Washington

Stacey Abrams and the Right To Vote

If You’re A Kid Like Gavin [transgender propaganda]

Kids Fight Climate Change: Act Now To Be a #2minutesuperhero

This sort of politicization isn’t exactly surprising—but it’s a reminder that the NCSS, and the entire social studies establishment, has become so politicized that nothing they do can be taken as remotely professional.


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: 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 will be reviewed through January 2024, and 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 (

Monthly American Birthright Zoom Meeting 

The Civics Alliance will have its monthly Zoom session devoted to social studies standards reform on Tuesday, February 20, at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. Please email 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 ( 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 Michaela Murphy on Unsplash