We’re beginning to build out the American Birthright standards with civics lesson plans! The Goldwater Institute has issued a report on Arizona social studies standards, and Ohio is about to authorize five intellectual freedom standards. A lot is happening as we recover from our July 4 barbecues …
2026 Civics Curriculum
The Civics Alliance’s Missouri state affiliate, The Educated Citizen Project (ECP), has begun the first stage of its 2026 Curriculum (draft title). The ECP will build upon the American Birthright civics standards to provide a curriculum map and full series of lesson plans, available for free for the public. The 2026 Civics Curriculum (draft title also) will provide a model for further initiatives to provide curriculum maps and lesson plans for each of the individual grade standards in American Birthright. Standards and lesson plans will work together: lesson plans will encourage states and school districts to adopt American Birthright, and American Birthright standards will encourage teachers to adopt these lesson plans. The ECP initiative deserves enthusiastic support from all supporters of social studies reform.
More immediately, the ECP initiative welcomes support. It needs 5–10 curriculum designers, who should have at least 5 years’ experience teaching high school social studies, including government/civics classes. For the moment, since the ECP initiative has just begun, it is unfunded, so these would have to be volunteers for now. The ECP initiative therefore would also welcome funding, above all to provide honoraria for curriculum designers! Please send an email to David Randall and/or Mary Byrne if you have suggestions about either curriculum designers or funders.
Providing standards and lesson plans is still only the beginning of our campaign. We must craft textbooks, professional development, and more. But the pieces are falling into place, one by one.
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. Pam Benigno of the Independence Institute has just joined as president of the Colorado state affiliate—welcome! We now have ten affiliates, in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Goldwater Institute Critiques Arizona Social Studies Standards
The Goldwater Institute has released a new report, Reclaiming the Constitution in K-12: How Arizona’s Social Studies Standards Fail to Prepare Our Students for Citizenship. Reclaiming the Constitution does an excellent job of critiquing the Arizona state social studies standards—and it joins existing critiques of Minnesota’s and Rhode Island’s standards as models for how to critique state social studies standards. Arizona reformers now are well placed to build upon a critique of existing social studies standards to call for a new model standard to replace the old. Civics reformers should look at how the Goldwater Institute has worked so far for social studies reform, and think about what to do next.
Another Colorado School District Considers Adopting American Birthright
The Garfield School District Re-2 in Colorado is considering whether to adopt American Birthright as its social studies standards. We certainly hope that it will join the Woodland Park School District in doing so—and that the movement will spread through Colorado and the nation!
Partial Success in the Ohio Budget
The Ohio budget delivered partial success for civics reform. Ohio will open five centers dedicated to intellectual diversity, at the Ohio State University, the University of Toledo, Miami University, Cleveland State University, and the University of Cincinnati—which doubles the existing list of one apiece in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Ohio has suddenly leaped to the front of the nation in providing a home for higher education free of the woke monoculture. The legislation to restrict DEI in Ohio’s public colleges and universities didn’t make it into the budget—but there are still good prospects that it can pass as stand-alone legislation. The Ohio bill to adopt American Birthright as the model for Ohio state social studies standards is also still in the mix. The Civics Alliance will be working to support both the passed and the prospective legislation, this year and in the future.
New Accreditation Policy from the NAS
The National Association of Scholars (NAS) has published a new policy on accreditation reform, and soon it will publish accompanying model legislation. The NAS endorses 10 principles and priorities of accreditation policy reform, to be enacted at both the federal and the state levels.
Monthly American Birthright Zoom Meeting
The Civics Alliance will have its monthly Zoom session devoted to social studies standards reform on Monday, July 24, at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. Please email email@example.com if you would like to join these monthly Zoom meetings.
Social Studies Standards Revision Schedule
2023/Current: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky (partial), Maine, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming
2024: Alabama, Arizona, Montana, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Wisconsin
2025: Kentucky, Nebraska, Texas
2026: Colorado, Maryland, North Dakota, South Carolina
2027: Hawaii, Kansas
No Revision Currently Scheduled: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri (but could change), New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington
Waiting Confirmation: North Carolina (2021)
Please email David Randall (firstname.lastname@example.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 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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