The National Association of Scholars’ (NAS) Civic Alliance launched the “American Birthright” project Monday, a new model of social studies standards ready for adoption in K-12 schools.
The new standards offer state and local school boards under pressure from left-wing educators the option to recalibrate instruction that prioritizes America’s founding pillars as the fundamental focus of civics education.
“Love, liberty, and the law – these are the touchstones of American social studies instruction,” the new standards’ introduction reads.
Rather, these should be the three touchstones of American social studies instruction. Far too many schools have wandered from these touchstones. Some educators are so caught up in pedagogical ‘theory’ that they have forgotten that facts come first. Some activists in our schools, public and private alike, 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.
Much curricula, said David Randall, the executive director of Civics Alliance coordinating the effort, is “confusing,” “badly written,” and “terribly political,” with an agenda that’s erased the defining concepts of American exceptionalism from the classroom.
“The crucial thing is to restore social studies instruction that teaches the story of liberty, the story of our country that is not politicized, [and] that is not unrigorous,” Randall told The Federalist.
Ohio Northern University Law Professor Bruce Frohnen, who served as a consultant on developing the academic program, said the current direction of American education has “gotten to the point where it is life and death for our culture and for our constitutional republic.”
Educators today have bred “two generations of hostility towards America as a racist, sexist, homophobic system that’s irredeemably evil,” Frohnen told The Federalist.
The classroom obsession with K-12 curricula infected with wokeness is getting worse, warranting the standards to replace new status quo. According to the Pulitzer Center, the New York Times’ fraudulent “1619 Project”of revisionist history was embedded in 4,500 classrooms nationwide by the summer of 2020. In October of the same year, the NAS called for the project’s Pulitzer Prize to be revoked over substantive inaccuracies.
The new standards from the NAS’s Civic Alliance build off a Massachusetts framework developed under the state’s then-Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in 2003. Those were able to garner approval from Democrat policymakers.
“It’s therefore meant to have broad appeal for the United States,” Randall said, who highlighted the adaptability of the new standards to best fit the local needs of institutions that choose to use them. State leaders in Rhode Island, Ohio, Washington, and Kentucky have already shown a particular interest in adopting the K-12 curriculum.
“We don’t want identical standards,” Randall told The Federalist, who sold the model as flexible yet rigorous in stark contrast to incumbent programming that’s become watered down in the name of equity.
“Soft standards actually make for a more unequal society,” Randall said, adding the new model prioritizes flexibility and high standards as a better alternative. “This is how you drive out everything that’s no good in education.”
Robert Maranto, the 21st-century chair in leadership and professor of education policy at the University of Arkansas, is one of 15 advisors who collaborated on the project.
“The thing we’ve lost,” Maranto told The Federalist, is how to “prepare people for democracy.”
“Jan. 6 and the 2020 riots indicate people don’t understand our political system… If we don’t teach young people about that, we’re going to lose it,” Maranto said, noting an uneducated citizenry forfeits civil engagement. “Naturally when people don’t get their way, they will move to violent means.”
Just last weekend, pro-abortion terrorists torched pregnancy centers, disrupted traffic, and assaulted state capitols after Supreme Court justices overturned the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade.
“We need a curriculum anchored in American history,” Maranto emphasized, while still maintaining importance on educating the next generation of other civilizations. That’s exactly what the new standards from the National Association of Scholars seeks to accomplish, with lesson plans ranging from the colonial founding to the Greeks and Incas.
“You can’t really understand your own country without understanding other countries,” Maranto added. Slavery, for example, “isn’t uniquely American. It was virtually everywhere.”
This article has been updated since publication.