The Partisanship Out of Civics Act

Stanley Kurtz

Editor's Note: The model state-level legislation below was authored by Stanley Kurtz, a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. NAS’s endorsement of this model can be found here, and Kurtz’s explanation and defense of it can be found here.


WHEREAS, true civic education is not political action itself but rather preparation for, and prerequisite to, mature political life; and

WHEREAS, respect for the liberties of students and teachers, the views of a politically diverse citizenry, and the tradition of institutional neutrality that flows from these, means that political activism has no place in formal education; and

WHEREAS, the free speech, conscience, and religious liberty rights of teachers ought to be respected; and

WHEREAS, the ability of the citizens of the state of [state name] and its school districts to control K-12 curriculum content in courses on history, civics, social studies, and similar topics through their elected representatives should not be ceded to private entities; and

WHEREAS, concepts that impute fault, blame, a tendency to oppress others, or the need to feel guilt or anguish to persons solely because of their race or sex violate the premises of individual rights, equal opportunity, and individual merit underpinning our constitutional republic, and therefore have no place in training for teachers, administrators, or other employees of the public educational system of [state name]; now, therefore,

BE IT ENACTED:

SECTION A:

(1) The following is required for graduation from [state name] high school:

(a) Three years in history, government, economics, and geography [or social studies]. These years must include at least 1 year of U.S. history and at least 1 half-year term of U.S. government.

SECTION B:

(1) No teacher of history, civics, U.S. government and politics, social studies, or similar subject areas, whether for regular credit or advanced placement credit, shall be compelled by a policy of any state agency, school district, or school administration to discuss current events or widely debated and currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs.

(2) It shall be the policy of this state that teachers who choose to discuss current events or widely debated and currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs shall, to the best of their ability, strive to explore such issues from diverse and contending perspectives.

(3) In any course on history, civics, U.S. government and politics, social studies, or similar subject areas, whether for regular credit or advanced placement credit, no school shall require, make part of such course, or award course grading or credit to, student work for, affiliation with, or service learning in association with, any organization engaged in lobbying for legislation at the local, state, or federal level, or in social or public policy advocacy.

(4) In any course on history, civics, U.S. government and politics, social studies, or similar subject areas, whether for regular credit or advanced placement credit, no school shall require, make part of such course, or award course grading or credit to, lobbying for legislation at the local, state, or federal level, or any practicum, or like activity, involving social or public policy advocacy.

(5) No private funding shall be accepted by state agencies or school districts for curriculum development, purchase or choice of curricular materials, teacher training, professional development, or continuing teacher education pertaining to courses on history, civics, U.S. government and politics, social studies, or similar subject areas, whether for regular credit or advanced placement credit.

(6) No teacher shall be compelled by a policy of any state agency, school district, or school administration to affirm a belief in the so-called systemic nature of racism, or like ideas, or in the so-called multiplicity or fluidity of gender identities, or like ideas, against his or her sincerely held religious or philosophical convictions.

(7) No state agency, school district, or school shall teach, instruct, or train any administrator, teacher, staff member, or employee to adopt or believe any of the following concepts: (a) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (b) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; (c) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race; (d) members of one race cannot or should not attempt to treat others without respect to race; (e) an individual’s moral standing or worth is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex; (f) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex; (g) an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; (h) meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race; (i) fault, blame, or bias should be assigned to a race or sex, or to members of a race or sex because of their race or sex.

(8) No teacher, administrator, or other employee in any state agency, school district, open-enrollment charter school, or school administration shall approve for use, make use of, or carry out, standards, curricula, lesson plans, textbooks, instructional materials, or instructional practices that serve to inculcate the following concepts: (a) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (b) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; (c) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race; (d) members of one race cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race; (e) an individual's moral standing or worth is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex; (f) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex; (g) any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; (h) meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a members of a particular race to oppress members of another race; (i) that the advent of slavery in the territory that is now the United States constituted the true founding of the United States; or (j) that, with respect to their relationship to American values, slavery and racism are anything other than deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to, the authentic founding principles of the United States, which include liberty and equality.

SECTION C:

(1) If any provision of this chapter, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this chapter and the application of its provisions to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.

DEFINITIONS

1) “School” means K-12 public school.


Image: Louis Velazquez, Public Domain

  • Share

Most Commented

August 17, 2021

1.

Fermilab Concedes to Woke Physicists

Known for its powerful particle accelerator, Fermilab epitomizes American physics research. But after accusations of racism, a group of woke physicists now controls the lab....

July 7, 2021

2.

CRT in Higher Education: Is a Day of Reckoning Coming for the University of Texas?

UT President Hartzell has been content to ignore critics regarding his institution's plunge into wokeism. With a Texas Legislature special session coming up, he may be in for a rude awak......

July 20, 2021

3.

NAS Opposes the ABA’s Woke Standards for Law Schools

The American Bar Association would like the nation’s already-radicalized law schools to become even more so. We must step up and challenge this....

Most Read

May 15, 2015

1.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

October 12, 2010

2.

Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...

September 8, 2021

3.

How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

UPDATED: We're keeping track of all Confucius Institutes in the United States, including those that remain open, those that closed, and those that have announced their closing....