Resolute is the Civics Alliance’s newsletter, informing you about the most urgent issues in civics education. Above all, Resolute will provide information about federal and state legislation that seeks to impose action civics, or to preserve traditional civics.
North Dakota Bans CRT
On November 12th, North Dakota joined the growing list of states that have banned Critical Race Theory (CRT). The bill stipulates that schools “may not include instruction relating to critical race theory in any portion of the district’s required curriculum,” later defining CRT as the idea “that racism is not merely the product of learned individual bias or prejudice, but that racism is systemically embedded in American society and the American legal system to facilitate racial inequality.” The bill fails to mention action civics, leaving the state vulnerable to a more subtle form of ideologically charged education.
States that have not passed such bans should consider the Partisanship Out of Civics Act, which bans action civics and uses precise language to target the divisive concepts of Critical Race Theory.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is at it again, this time with a book that will reiterate the basic argument of the New York Times’ 1619 Project. Hannah-Jones’ original reporting included several factual errors—for which she or the Times has yet to issue any formal correction. Some of the most far-fetched claims were “stealth edited” online. These journalistic missteps have, however, not prevented the 1619 Project from receiving mainstream critical acclaim, or from appearing in school curricula across the country through the NYT’s educational partnership with the Pulitzer Center. Parents should be on guard: Hannah-Jones’ new book will, no doubt, be used to the same end.
Gender Ideology: Parents Push Back
Wisconsin parents have sued the Kettle Moraine School District over the district’s gender pronoun policy. The policy keeps skeptical parents in the dark about their children’s preferred “gender pronouns.” The Kettle Moraine School District is not the only district in Wisconsin to implement such a policy. The Madison Metropolian School District, for example, advertises its Gender Support Plan in a 35-page transgender policy document. In a previous issue of Resolute, we noted that Gender Ideology has become another key issue in our ongoing education debate. The Gender Support Plan is not a new school policy device. In fact, schools around the country use such plans. We should hope that the Wisconsin lawsuit marks yet another turning point in that debate.
Texas State Board of Education: A Call for the Work Group on Social Studies
Texas’ State Board of Education (SBOE) is still accepting applications for a work group on social studies. This is an important opportunity, a chance to play a role in shaping Texas state curricula. The SBOE can review and modify each subject of the state’s required curriculum, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). It just released its call for applications for its 2021-2022 Social Studies TEKS Review.
Civics Alliance State Affiliates
The Civics Alliance would like to build up a network of state affiliates—groups dedicated to removing action civics in their state, whom we would list on our forthcoming website. 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).
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.
John Sailer is a Research Associate at the National Association of Scholars and serves as Keeping the Republic Project Lead.