Action Civics Repeal


Many states have enacted laws affecting civics and history education that should be repealed in whole or in part. These laws either distract from and abbreviate a proper education in civics and history, or directly undermine it. Our model civics legislation implicitly overrides a great many of these laws, but state legislators should remove these laws entirely.

Action Civics, Service Learning, Project Based Assessment

Many states have passed laws that authorize action civics, service learning, project-based assessments, and community service. Policymakers’ absolute priority should be to repeal laws that authorize action civics (including by names such as “civic engagement”), service learning, and project-based assessments. These laws all facilitate action civics. A proper civics education requires their repeal.

Community Service

We also call for the repeal of legislation requiring community service in public schools. Community service is not as directly politicized as action civics, but it weakens public schools’ proper focus on classroom instruction. Schools already serve the community by educating students and students already serve the community by learning. Government schools should not have any role in community service. When government schools have the power to encourage or discourage any particular community service, administrators and teachers gain the power to exercise improper influence to direct that service as suits their personal preferences. When government schools take up the role of providing community service, they lose faith in their proper mission of providing a classroom mission. Neither does it improve students’ character when the government requires them to perform community service. Community service only improves character when it is chosen voluntarily.

Parents, churches, and other voluntary organizations should encourage students to perform community service—but not in the schools, and not as a requirement for high school graduation.

Existing State Statutes, Which Should Be Repealed in Whole or in Part

Action Civics

Service Learning

Project Based Assessment

Community Service

The National Association of Scholars, in consultation with other supporters and friends of the Civics Alliance, drafted this list of statutes to repeal to translate into legislative policy the principles in the Civics Alliance’s Civics Curriculum Statement & Open Letter. This list has been drafted with the expectation that not every supporter of the Civics Alliance will endorse this list or every part of it. Individual Civics Alliance signatories and supporters should not be assumed to have endorsed this list, unless they say so explicitly.