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Launch of a new curriculum model celebrating the American exception

By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR

(The Center Square) – The Civic Alliance of the National Scholars Association says it has launched a new curriculum model that all state education departments can follow to improve K-12 education year.

The “American Birthright: The Civics Alliance’s Model K-12 Social Studies Standards” was created to better educate students about their heritage and to inspire “US state departments of education to provide social studies standards that teach American students their birthright to freedom”.

The program “teaches students to identify ideals, institutions, and individual examples of human liberty, individualism, religious freedom, and republican autonomy,” among others.

“State standards are the most influential documents in the American education system,” the alliance said. They provide guidance to all K-12 public school districts and charter schools when creating programs and courses.

State standards also influence the type of textbooks authors write, the alliance noted, and how tests are created to assess students. They also affect teacher training and influence how teachers design their individual lesson plans.

American Birthright Standards provide a comprehensive approach to teaching history, geography, civics, and economics with an emphasis on Western civilization, world history, and the history of the United States. In these subjects, students learn how history has been influenced by freedom; faith and nations; science and technology; economy; state and society; and cultural. The lessons are designed to teach students “to understand the exceptional but fragile achievement embodied in the creation and preservation of the American republic,” the alliance says.

American Birthright relies on multiple sources, the alliance noted. He added that the two most important are the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework (2003) and the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Social Studies, Revised Civics and Government Strand (2021).

The alliance also thanked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Louisiana State Bipartisan Council on Elementary and Secondary Education for advancing social studies standards reforms in their states.

Earlier this year, Florida passed new education standards that require instruction in public schools to adhere to principles of individual liberty and ensure “freedom from indoctrination.”

The principles include the concept that no one is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive solely because of their race or gender and that a hard work ethic is fundamental to the right to pursue success. It also expands the teaching of Black American history, calling for a new “Stories of Inspiration” curriculum to be taught about influential Black Americans who have made invaluable contributions to society.

“No one should be instructed to feel like they are unequal or ashamed because of their race,” Governor DeSantis said when he signed the bill. “In Florida, we will not let the far-left woke agenda take over our schools and workplaces. There is no place for indoctrination or discrimination in Florida.

“Florida’s excellent 2021 Revised Civics and Government Strand used proper pedagogy to teach K-6 students about America, and we incorporated Florida’s patriotic accent into American Birthright,” said the covenant.

He also noted that in 2021-22, the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education accepted public input throughout the social studies standards revision process. Feedback from concerned citizens and support for improved standards led Louisiana to develop its landmark Freedom Framework content standards.

The expert consultants who helped create the new alliance standards come from a variety of backgrounds, including the Florida Department of Education and the Louisiana Department of Education.

Members of the executive committee leading the initiative are drawn from the Pioneer Institute, Claremont Institute, Center of the American Experiment, Cardinal Institute, Idaho Freedom Foundation, National Association of Scholars, John Locke Foundation and the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation.

The alliance reached out to all 50 governors and school districts in all 50 states to encourage them to adopt the standards.

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