As Learning Standards Fall, National Group of Scholars Offers Civics Curriculum to Build Strong Democratic Communities » Publications » Washington Policy Center

Amid school closures, continued union dominance, critical race theory and falling learning standards, a prominent group of academics has set up a civics program to revive the teaching of history, democracy and tolerance in public schools.

The new proposal is welcome news for engaged parents and citizens concerned about the continuing decline in academic standards, particularly in the area of ​​civics. Given the years of divisive teaching and critical race theory, many parents see a renewed need to teach students about acceptance, mutual respect, goodwill, and connectedness among all members of the family. community.

Research by the National Association of Scholars (NAS) shows that fewer students today know the essential facts about the founding and history of the American Republic. Even after years in public school, many students are unaware of foundational dates and documents like 1776, 1800, 1860, 1932, 1963, 1987, Declaration of Independence, Gettysburg Speech, Dr. King’s I Have Speech a Dream or President Reagan’s speech. at the Berlin Wall.

Instead, NAS research finds public school students to receive a “relentless form of anti-American propaganda teaching that the United States is a particularly evil and racist country, through misleadingly named theories and pedagogies.” These hateful ideas in the classroom lead students to become angry and suspicious of each other, which is poor training for coming together in a spirit of community as adults.

The NAS recommends restoring true citizenship to public schools, saying students need:

“…a civic education that teaches the founding principles and documents of the United States, key events in American history, the structure of our self-governing federal republic, the functions of government at all levels, the workings of our institutions government and the spirit of freedom and tolerance which must animate our intimate relations with our fellow citizens.

“Such civic education should teach students to be proud of what they share as Americans – an outstanding heritage of freedom, a republic that has succeeded in making freedom a fundamental tenet of our government, and the joyful accomplishments of their common national culture.

The NAS curriculum includes literacy in the basic facts that make democracy work. The curriculum includes well-grounded lessons on the rule of law, the Bill of Rights, elections, checks and balances, jury trials, and constitutional rights. Students taking the course learn how these principles emerged from the experience of Western civilization and American history.

In Washington state, that constructive idea is reflected in legislation introduced by Rep. James Walsh (R-Longview). HB 1807 would revive civic education and introduce students to a positive and uplifting message about living together in a community that respects the dignity of all its members. My analysis of the bill is here.

The past few years have been difficult for families and children. As learning standards plummet and harmful programs like CRT continue, new proposals to affirm civic learning are a welcome and much-needed development.

About Jessica J. Bass

Check Also

Last inmate of a group that escaped from Virginia federal prison has been recaptured

AAll four of the inmates who escaped from a federal compound in Virginia are back …