Much attention has been given to the results of Tuesday’s federal elections. But the votes cast on Tuesday also determined the leaders of local and state governments across the country. As new education officials take office, now is the perfect time to advocate for civics education—and thanks to a new database of school board members’ contact information, it is easier to do so than ever before.
Parent Power: A School Board Member Database
The America First Policy Institute (AFPI) has just launched Parent Power, a database that provides contact information for every school board member in the nation. Parent Power also includes a Model Policy section that draws extensively from model legislation jointly endorsed by AFPI and the National Association of Scholars, and originally drafted for the Civics Alliance. We are delighted about the Model Policy section—but the database is a remarkable new resource, which makes it possible to press for civics reform effectively in every school district of the nation. We strongly urge readers to make use of it, and to pass along the news of its existence to other concerned citizens.
Excellent New Critique of Minnesota’s Draft Social Studies Standards
The Center of the American Experiment has just published Wilfred McClay’s critique of Minnesota’s Draft Social Studies Standards: “National Expert: Minnesota’s Academic Standards Among the Nation’s Worst: Review of the 2021 Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies, Draft Three.” McClay’s critique expertly articulates the problems with Minnesota’s radical draft standards, which would make Minnesota’s social studies standards among the worst in the nation. We encourage readers to inspect McClay’s report—and also to consider how to draft similar reports in each state of the Union.
South Dakota Public Hearing
The next public hearing to consider South Dakota’s excellent new draft standards will be November 21, 9 am Central Time, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. We urge South Dakotans to register at once for public comment on these new standards—and to make your comments public. Opinion articles such as Karen Proctor’s will do enormous good to rally opinion in favor of these reformed standards.
Welcome to the New Civics Alliance Massachusetts State Affiliate
The Civics Alliance is building a network of state affiliates—groups dedicated to removing action civics in their state, whom we will list on our website. We are delighted to announce that Bela Maranhas, president of the Massachusetts chapter of No Left Turn in Education, is now serving as the head of the Massachusetts state affiliate of the Civics Alliance. We now have eight affiliates, in Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, 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 (email@example.com).
Social Studies Standards: Reform Campaign
The Civics Alliance continues its new, nationwide campaign for social studies standards reform.
Texas: The National Association of Scholars and the Civics Alliance just published a joint public comment on Texas’ Proposed Revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 113, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies, which would align with recent legislative requirements by updating the Texas social studies standards. We caution that some of the proposed language, as well as some existing language, may facilitate “action civics” and thus contravene Texas H.B. 3979 (2021), which forbade “action civics.” We urge Texas citizens to inspect these revisions and comment on them.
Model Education Licensure Code
The National Association of Scholars, California Policy Center, Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, Goldwater Institute, James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, John Locke Foundation, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Palm Beach Freedom Institute, and Washington Policy Center have jointly released the Model Education Licensure Code.
The Model Education Licensure Code provides three model bills state policymakers can use to reform education schools and the education licensure process—the Education Licensure Nondiscrimination Act, the Education Licensure Review Act, and the Education Licensure Certificate Act.
Model State Laws: Joint Release with the America First Policy Institute
On September 29, the National Association of Scholars and the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) jointly released 10 State Policies To Restore Quality K-12 Public Education in America. These policies are 10 model laws for the states drawn from the Civics Alliance’s Model K-12 Civics Code.
Monthly American Birthright Zoom Meeting
The Civics Alliance will have its fourth monthly Zoom session devoted to social studies standards reform on Wednesday, December 14, at 12:30 pm Eastern Time. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join these monthly Zoom meetings.
Social Studies Standards Revision Schedule
2022/Current: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky (partial), Minnesota, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia.
2023: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Ohio, Oregon, Wyoming
2024: Alabama, Arizona, Montana, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Wisconsin
2025: Kentucky, 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: District of Columbia (current process), North Carolina (2021)
Please email David Randall (email@example.com) 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.