Civics Showdown in Texas, NEA Endorses CRT, and New Resources Galore

David Randall

Resolute is the Civics Alliance’s newsletter, informing you about the most urgent issues in civics education. Above all, Resolute will provide information about federal and state legislation that seeks to impose action civics, or to preserve traditional civics.

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Texas Special Session

Texas House Bill 3979 (H.B. 3979), which bans Critical Race Theory and action civics in Texas’ public schools, isn’t perfect. Texas legislators need to fix this damaged law and restore it to the Partisanship Out of Civics Act model. The fight is on in Texas’ special session, with competing bills introduced that could worsen (S.B. 3) or improve (H.B. 178) H.B. 3979. H.B. 178 notably adds transparency requirements, which would require public schools to reveal to the public their teaching materials. We urge all members of the Civics Alliance to inform Governor Abbott and Texas state lawmakers that H.B. 178 does a better job to revise H.B. 3979 to fulfill its original purpose to ban Critical Race Theory and action civics.

NEA Endorses CRT

The National Education Association (NEA) has just endorsed teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT), and has budgeted money to campaign for keeping CRT in American schools. The NEA’s vote gives the lie to the gaslighting claim that our schools aren’t teaching CRT. So too does the pledge by more than 5,000 teachers to teach CRT, no matter what laws are passed. Civics reformers must take into account the avowed opposition of the teachers’ unions, and of a considerable body of teachers. At the very least, these events underscore the case for the reform of our teacher licensure system, as well as of education schools, which act as chokepoints to subject our teachers to radical indoctrination.

Model Grassroots Materials

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) has started to produce materials for the use of grassroots civics reformers. Its first materials are an Action Guide PowerPoint and a Model Letter to a School Board. Please send word about what other materials would be most useful—and look at other sites that provide useful resources, especially Parents Defending Education. These grassroots materials should be used in combination with materials such as the Model K-12 Civics Code, which provides civics education reformers in each state a coherent model for what civics education should be, and the NAS’s growing library of Issue Briefs.

Local Work, Local Victories

Americans can only sweep back action civics and Critical Race Theory through local work in each state, town, and school. They have begun to do this work—and they have begun to achieve victories. Other Americans should read this news to take heart—and to take notes on how to organize themselves:

Arizona Bans Critical Race Theory Training In Government Agencies

Illinois Teacher Files Lawsuit Against CRT Policies

Minnesota Teachers Write Open Letter to Superintendent Protesting Against Political Bias

Utah Parents Rally Against Critical Race Theory

New Resources

Individuals and organizations around the nation continue to produce new, helpful resources to oppose action civics and Critical Race Theory. Recent ones include:

Cardinal Newman Society, Catholic Education’s Call in the Face of ‘Cancel Culture’

Cardinal Newman Society, Background on Critical Race Theory and Critical Theory for Catholic Educators

Catholic World Report, Why Critical Race Theory is contrary to Catholic Education

Citizens for Renewing America, Model School Board Language to Prohibit Critical Race Theory

Citizens for Renewing America, Combatting Critical Race Theory in Your Community

Heritage Foundation, Critical Race Theory: Legislation Tracker

No Left Turn in Education, Indoctrination in Your State and District

Curriculum Resources

We need to expand our library of civics curriculum resources. Perhaps the most urgent need is for good civics courses that are ready to use—MOOCs, online courses, integrated courses with textbooks and lesson plans, etc. We welcome recommendations.

Civics Alliance State Affiliates

The Civics Alliance would like to build up a network of state affiliates—groups dedicated to removing action civics in their state, whom we would list on our forthcoming website. If you would like to form such an organization, or suggest an existing organization, please get in touch with Civics Alliance Policy Director David Randall ([email protected]).

Continuing Priorities: Federal Legislation

At the federal level, the Civics Secures Democracy Act threatens to impose action civics nationwide.

The Civics Bill Tracker

Civics Alliance members may now use the Civics Bill Tracker to track all proposed federal and state legislation related to civics.

Public Action

We encourage Civics Alliance members to inform the public and policymakers about the stakes and consequences of action civics bills.

David Randall is Director of Research at the National Association of Scholars and Project Director of the Civics Alliance.

Image: Wikimedia CommonsCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license, cropped.

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