As a long-time member of the National Association of Scholars (NAS.org), I recently joined the Civics Alliance that they sponsored, which has as its mission “to unite education reformers, policymakers, and every U. S. citizen who wants to preserve civics education that teaches the founding principles and documents of the United States, the key events of American history, the structure of our self-governing federal republic, the functions of government at all levels, how our governing institutions work, and the spirit of liberty and tolerance that should animate our private interactions with our fellow citizens”.
Just this week I received the first edition of “Resolute”, the Civics Alliance newsletter, which highlights a number of threats to these standards from the progressive left currently under discussion in state legislatures across the country, and includes commentary from Stanley Kurtz, who focuses on a number of these proposals in Texas. As he writes in National Review Online, “Texas is target number one in the left’s play to turn the red states blue with a radicalized version of “civics”. What is variously called “action civics”, “civic engagement”, or “project-based civics”, requires K-12 students to engage in political protests, lobbying, and internships with advocacy organizations, all of course with credit. The protests and lobbying are virtually always for causes on extracurricular political activity, particularly when it subjects impressionable school children to teacher biases and peer pressure, as “action civics” invariably does.”
Several bills along these lines have been filed in both the Texas House and Senate, mainly patterned on the practices that make up action civics that have already been adopted in Illinois and Massachusetts. I won’t detail them here, but the bill numbers of legislation promoting action civics are SB 1740, identical bills HB 57 and SB 229, and HB 3211. Heads up! This is dangerous and insidious stuff and needs our attention. Texas should stop this madness in the crib.