West Virginia Social Studies Standards Revision … K-5 Western Civilization Standards … The Golden Thread of Western Civilization … All this and more in the latest Resolute 

West Virginia Social Studies Standards Revision

West Virginia has published its proposed new social studies standards—and comment from the Civics Alliance will be forthcoming! 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 still told they can do much better.

The Civics Alliance will comment. 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.

K-5 Western Civilization Standards

West Virginia’s social studies standards also made clear that social studies need to include K-5 coverage of Western Civilization. West Virginia middle school students are supposed to learn about World War I, and they have learned literally nothing about Western Civilization until then. More generally, all of American history is taught without any Western Civilization backdrop. Students clearly need a brief introduction to Western Civilization in the earliest grades.

Louisiana Social Studies does this in Grades 4 and 5. Hillsdale College and the Barney Schools do as well. American Birthright has not—we focused on a two-year sequence on Western Civilization in Grades 8 and 9, had a Grade 6 World Geography to provide background context, but focused on American History in Grades 3-5. We therefore are going to start planning, and publishing, a focused set of K-5 Western Civilization Standards, with an eye to later revision of American Birthright. Western Civilization needs to be “spiraled”—taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school.

Golden Thread

Speaking of Western Civilization … Encounter Books will be publishing The Golden Thread, a two-volume textbook on Western Civilization. It also will be working on everything else needed to get Western Civilization back into the schools. Follow what they’re doing! This is as important a step for restoring education in Western Civilization as Land of Hope was for restoring American history.


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 will be 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, April 22, 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.

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