Colorado Board of Education Considers an Amendment to Adopt Standards Based on "American Birthright"

National Association of Scholars

Editor's Note: In addition to the following statement, the National Association of Scholars has also sent an open letter to the Colorado State Board of Education urging them to reconsider drawing upon American Birthright in future sessions.

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) and the Civics Alliance are delighted that Colorado’s State Board of Education just considered an amendment by board member Debora Scheffel to adopt civics standards based on American Birthright: The Civics Alliance's Model K-12 Social Studies Standards. The amendment was defeated by a 4-3 vote, with board members Steve Durham, Joyce Rankin, and Debora Scheffel voting in favor. (Video of the Board Meeting is here; the discussion of American Birthright begins at 7:22:50 and continues to 7:57:30.)

The Colorado Board is the first governmental body formally to consider adopting standards based on American Birthright. We are particularly grateful to board members Steve Durham, Joyce Rankin, and Debora Scheffel for voting to support the amendment, but we thank the entire Board for its thoughtful consideration of American Birthright.

We urge Colorado’s State Board of Education to reconsider drawing upon American Birthright in future sessions, for social studies instruction in general and not just for Civics. We also urge Colorado citizens to consider other means by which to draw upon American Birthright. Colorado delegates a very large amount of authority to local school districts, and individual school districts may also decide to base their social studies instruction on American Birthright. It would be wonderful if individual Colorado school districts adopted American Birthright.

We are happy that the vote came so close to success. It has taken less than four months for American Birthright since it was published to receive serious consideration by a state; Colorado’s board members have paved the way for American Birthright to be considered equally seriously in states around the nation—and to be adopted.

Image: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

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