West Virginia Social Studies Standards Public Comment … Iowa Set to Pass Civics Alliance-Informed Legislation … McClay Says Yay to GEA … All this and more in the latest Resolute 

Civics Alliance Public Comment on West Virginia Social Studies Standards Revision

The Civics Alliance has written a public comment on West Virginia’s proposed new social studies standards. West Virginia is in the middle of social studies standards—they avoided most of the radicalization of the worst recent social studies standards (Minnesota, Rhode Island, Connecticut), but they still have action civics, they still shy away from liberty and faith, and you can see them excising much of what remains of Western Civilization in these revisions. West Virginia should be commended for avoiding the worst of modern social studies—but we’ve told them in detail how and why they can do much better.

The Civics Alliance has commented. West Virginians also should comment. Any readers of Resolute who know West Virginia policymakers or citizens—tell ‘em what’s up! And tell ‘em to get in touch with David Randall (randall@nas.org), so we can make a strong collective push to reform West Virginia social studies standards.

Iowa Set to Pass Civics Alliance-Informed Legislation

The news story: Iowa Senate approves bill adding social studies, civics requirements for Iowa schools. The Iowa Senate resurrected the Iowa House Bill that included extensive language inspired by the Civics Alliance’s model bills, and the resurrected version includes in compressed fashion language and concepts inspired by the Civics Course Act, the United States History Act, and the Western Civilization Act. We are delighted and honored that Iowa will (cross fingers, presuming Governor Kim Reynolds signs the bill) have laws on the books informed by the Civics Alliance’s suggestions for how to reform social studies education.

That brings us to a delightful, but new, stage two: how actually to give effect to these guidelines. Iowa adopting social studies standards informed by American Birthright would be wonderful. But first we must work with Iowa policymakers to make sure that concerted work is done, and that Iowa Education Department bureaucrats are not allowed to sabotage the law. Iowans who want to help out in this process should get in touch with David Randall (randall@nas.org), so we can make a strong collective push to reform Iowa social studies standards.

McClay Says Yay to GEA

Wilfred McClay, writing at the American Enterprise Institute, says very kind things about the General Education Act:

The School of General Education’s subject matter would include the ‘founding principles of natural rights, liberty, equality, representative democracy, separation of powers, checks and balances, federalism, and constitutional self-government . . . through the study of original source documents . . . that illustrate the United States’ constitutional history and structure.’ Such course offerings would go a long way toward solving the civic education problem, at least for those students fortunate enough to attend a Utah university. If this program is successful in Utah, such ideas are almost certain to spread.

McClay speaks of faculty members’ concerns about academic freedom and says that these concerns are not trivial—but concludes that “the gravity of the current crisis of civic ignorance outweighs the maintenance of the academic status quo. We are in a crisis, and the time for complacency is long past.”

We are grateful for his thoughtful judgment that the General Education Act would be a net improvement to American higher education.

Recent Publications


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: randall@nas.org. 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 were scheduled to be submitted to the State Board of Education and posted for public comment in March of 2024.
  • West Virginia: Social studies standards were reviewed through January 2024, and were 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 (randall@nas.org).

Monthly American Birthright Zoom Meeting 

The Civics Alliance will have its monthly Zoom session devoted to social studies standards reform on Monday, May 20, at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. Please email randall@nas.org 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 (randall@nas.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 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 Sear Greyson on Unsplash