Radical Activists Hijack Civics Education, Study Finds

National Association of Scholars

New York, NY (January 10, 2017) — The “civic engagement” movement has taken over American college-level civics education and turned it into progressive political training, concludes a new report by the National Association of Scholars (NAS).

NAS’s major new study, Making Citizens: How American Universities Teach Civics, documents how the term “civic” has been stolen by left-wing activists who smuggle their agenda into colleges under the pretext of wholesome teaching.

These activists’ version of civics—the New Civics—trains students to be protesters instead of teaching them the foundations of government—the Old Civics.

Making Citizens documents how this came to be. It also provides four case studies: University of Colorado, Boulder; Colorado State University; University of Northern Colorado; and University of Wyoming.

The National Association of Scholars has researched the New Civics since 2012, when the Department of Education under President Obama called on all colleges and universities to make “civic learning” a “pervasive” priority.

“The devil is in the details,” said NAS president Peter Wood. “Now ‘civic learning’ doesn’t mean what you would expect – straightforward things such as understanding the Bill of Rights, the three branches of government, and the Electoral College. Instead, this New Civics is all about ‘diversity,’ environmentalism, the LGBT movement, ‘global’ citizenship, and other liberal causes.”   

David Randall, NAS director of communications and author of the report, said, “Civic engagement diverts at least $40 billion a year and 150 million hours of student labor toward progressive organizations. In the meantime, colleges are failing to teach students how their government actually works.”

Making Citizens recommends that the Old Civics be restored to American universities and that the federal and state governments reduce their subsidies for the New Civics.

“Students deserve to know what it means to be a citizen of this country,” said Wood. “The New Civics is a bad substitute for real civic education, and we hope to change that.”

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About the National Association of Scholars: The National Association of Scholars works to foster intellectual freedom and to sustain the tradition of reasoned scholarship and civil debate in America’s colleges and universities. To learn more about NAS, visit www.nas.org.

Download the PDF of Making Citizenswww.nas.org/makingcitizens

Contact: David Randall / Director of Communications / [email protected] / (917) 551-6770

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