A national civics organization laid out a new set of academic standards this week for K-12 social studies classes aimed at improving education throughout the country and combating the rampant anti-American bias it says has taken hold in social studies instruction.
This new document (pdf), “American Birthright: The Civics Alliance’s Model K-12 Social Studies Standards,” is a blueprint that was unveiled on June 27 by The Civics Alliance in an online conference call. It can be used as a framework for state education standards. The standards cover four disciplines that the group says are being mistaught: history, geography, civics, and economics. The document was developed by the group, a project of the National Association of Scholars (NAS), in conjunction with myriad experts and organizations across the United States.
“State academic content standards are the most influential documents in American education,” David Randall, American Birthright coordinator and director of research at NAS, told The Epoch Times during the call.
“They shape what public school districts and charter schools teach. They also influence what textbooks authors write, and what knowledge assessment companies (such as the College Board) test for in their Advanced Placement examinations. They affect teacher training and they provide the framework for teachers’ lesson plans,” Randall said.
The Civics Alliance said in a statement that it wants “to improve every aspect of American social studies instruction by inspiring America’s state education departments to provide social studies standards that teach American students their birthright of liberty.”
“Every student should be educated to be another Harry Truman—a high-school graduate who, without ever graduating from college, has a solid grasp of history and is capable of serving as an officer, a judge, a senator, and president.
“American Birthright teaches students to identify the ideals, institutions, and individual examples of human liberty, individualism, religious freedom, and republican self-government; assess the extent to which civilizations have fulfilled these ideals; and describe how the evolution of these ideals in different times and places has contributed to the formation of modern American ideals.
“Above all, American Birthright teaches about the expansion of American liberty to include all Americans, the contributions that Americans from every walk of life have made to our shared history of liberty, and America’s championship of liberty throughout the world. Students will learn of heroes of liberty such as Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ronald Reagan.”
It is a major problem, according to the blueprint, that activists in schools “are so antagonistic toward our culture, without recognizing what they owe to it, that they seek to erase our worthy history of liberty from the curriculum.” Instead of embracing “an informed and intelligent patriotism, they foster a cynical spirit devoid of appreciation for the richness and complexity of the American past.” This has resulted in too many Americans leaving school “ignorant of America’s history, indifferent to liberty, filled with animus against their ancestors and the... (Read more)
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