In Honor of July 4 Independence Day and the Upcoming 250th Anniversary of America’s Birthright of Freedom, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity has joined the The Civics Alliance, a national coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to improving America’s civics education: The Civics Alliance’s model K-12 social studies standards, American Birthright, was launched yesterday, one week before July 4, to honor Independence Day.
The Civics Alliance wants to inspire America’s state education leaders to provide social studies standards that teach American students their birthright of liberty.
Per Civics Alliance Executive Director David Randall, “Every American 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.”
“Here in Rhode Island, our state department of education (RIDE), empowered by enabling legislation in 2019, is forcing local school districts to adopt social studies standards that combine misguided pedagogical theory, low academic standards, and anti-American teachings,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “Conversely, American Birthright is an equal opportunity program in that both disadvantaged and better-off students will be exposed to diverse and intensive content standards that fulfill America’s promise of equal educational opportunities for everyone.”
PROGRAMMING NOTE: David Randall will be the featured guest this Thursday, June 30, at 4:00PM EST for an in depth interview on the video podcast, #InTheDugout with Mike Stenhouse and can be viewed at OceanStateCurrent.com/AmericanBirthright.
Too many Americans emerge from our schools ignorant of America’s history, indifferent to liberty, and estranged from their country. We must restore American social studies instruction centered on liberty if we are to restore the American republic to good health.
“Americans of all parties want to take back their schools,” Randall explained. “The Civics Alliance wrote American Birthright to equip governors, state legislators, school boards, and grassroots activists for that fight. Every American needs to know what a proper social studies instruction should be.”
The Civics Alliance crafted American Birthright to teach America’s foundational history of liberty. American Birthright provides the comprehensive content knowledge in history, geography, civics, and economics that schools should teach in each grade from pre-kindergarten through high school, and 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.
American Birthright adapts material from several sources that did a particularly good job of providing structure and content for social studies instruction. The largest source of American Birthright is the 2003 Massachusetts History and Social Sciences Curriculum Framework.
A distinguished panel of Expert Consultants worked on American Birthright; and the American Birthright coalition includes a large number of organizations and individuals, including many state policymakers. (See Who We Are.) The policymakers who have joined the American Birthright coalition include Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson of North Carolina, Senator Rob Sampson of Connecticut (Assistant Minority Leader), Representative Don Jones of Ohio (Majority Whip), and Representative Garry R. Smith of South Carolina (Chairman, House Operations and Management Committee). Among the organizations who have joined the coalition are the Claremont Institute and the Eagle Forum; individuals include Victor Davis Hanson and Christopher Rufo.
Randall added, “The Civics Alliance crafted rigorous standards to make it straightforward for policymakers to create equally rigorous equivalents with different priorities, whether by abbreviating some topics, expanding others, or adjusting the course sequences. States and school districts should and will modify American Birthright in detail.”
State policymakers should accompany K-12 social studies standards modeled on American Birthright with legislation to ensure that public K-12 schools provide proper social studies instruction, such as the bills in the Civic Alliance’s Model K-12 Civics Code. Americans need to make sure the content in reformed social studies standards reaches students in the classroom.
Proper social studies standards are a linchpin in the work to educate a new generation of Americans who understand and appreciate their nation’s past and who respect and are prepared to sacrifice for their country. American children should be equipped to continue the work bequeathed to them by the Founders—to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. The Civics Alliance offers American Birthright to help its fellow Americans to craft the standards, the curricula, the textbooks, and the lessons that will sustain our republic and our nation.
Of the following two issues related to Rhode Island’s public schools, which one is a greater concern?