“The Battle Over Students’ Minds: Social Studies”
From Donna Garner


****COMMENTS FROM DONNA GARNER: To help the public to follow what Biden and a group of Republicans (Republicans-in-Name-Only – RINO’s] in the U. S. Senate are trying to do to destroy America, we need to clarify some terms first.

It is always a dead giveaway that something is amiss when a Congressional title is “sweet smelling.” Biden and Cornyn have given their disguised Critical Race Theory (CRT) bill a title of “Civics Secures Democracy Act -- (CSDA).” That sounds so nice, doesn’t it?  Beware!

Thankfully, today’s article from Dr. Susan Berry (posted below) is focusing on the excellent National Association of Scholars’ Civics Alliance “American Birthright Model Social Studies Standard.”  For short…”American Birthright

In 2021, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis helped to put into place a superior social studies model when he and his state implemented the “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Social Studies, Revised Civics and Government Strand.”  For short, this fine document is referred to as “Civics Excellence.”  Please go to the link at the bottom of this page to read more about the academic improvement that Florida students are already making under this excellent set of civics standards.

Meanwhile, in Texas, I believe our Social Studies Texas Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) curriculum standards (adopted and streamlined in 2018 by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education) are quite good and are definitely very patriotic with no CRT -- https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=4&ti=19&pt=2&ch=113

Texas’ TEKS curriculum standards and instructional materials (e.g., textbooks) go through extensive public hearings, much input from the field, and incur many changes all along the way.

By law in Texas, the TEKS curriculum standards form the basis for the curriculum adopted by local school districts.  The TEKS tell teachers WHAT to teach, but the teachers decide HOW to teach the standards.

Our problems in Texas occur (1) when school administrators and/or curriculum directors do not adopt local curriculum that is closely aligned with the TEKS, and (2) when numerous Texas teachers choose not to teach with fidelity the state-mandated TEKS.

I believe that Texas needs much more accountability by the school administrators and/or curriculum directors. This is where the Texas Legislature needs to step in and include  accountability “with teeth in it.”

What real penalty now falls on a school administrator and/or curriculum director who chooses Obama’s Common Core/CRT/LGBTQ/social justice agenda social studies curriculum, and it is thrust upon every teacher in the district to teach?  NOTHING!

The STAAR tests do offer a degree of accountability for both teachers and students because reports are released to the public, but the only social studies courses in which students are STAAR-tested are 8th grade Social Studies and U. S. History in high school. Teachers in the other grade levels do not have any accountability in social studies.

The revised Social Studies TEKS to be adopted in 2022 – 23 are in the pipeline right now.  Please go to this link to read more about this process and to find out how the public can get involved:  https://tea.texas.gov/academics/curriculum-standards/teks-review/2021-2022-social-studies-teks-review

In summary – the terms:

CSDABiden/Cornyn’s CRT deceptive standards meant to fool Congress and the American people

American BirthrightNAS’s superior standards

Civics ExcellenceFlorida Gov. DeSantis’s excellent civics standards

Social Studies TEKS  – Credible Social Studies curriculum standards in Texas


7.8.22 – The Star Network

“National Association of Scholars’ Civics Alliance Releases ‘American Birthright’ Model Social Studies Standard”
By Susan Berry, PhD

Excerpts from this article:

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A coalition of organizations and individuals convened by the National Association of Scholars (NAS) has released its model social studies standard, American Birthright,” to teach America’s foundational history of liberty.

David Randall, NAS director of research and executive director of the Civics Alliance coalition, said as the standard was released in an official statement at the end of June [2022]:

{Americans of all parties want to take back their schools. The Civics Alliance wrote “American Birthright” to equip governors, state legislators, school boards, and grassroots activists for that fight. Every American needs to know what a proper social studies instruction should be…}

American Birthright draws upon several sources, the Civics Alliance states.

Of particular importance are the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework of 2003, and Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Social Studies, Revised Civics and Government Strand, an effort that Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) spearheaded in 2021.}

With its focus on liberty, the Civics Alliance notes American Birthright:

{… teaches students to identify the ideals, institutions, and individual examples of human liberty, individualism, religious freedom, and republican self-government; assess the extent to which civilizations have fulfilled these ideals; and describe how the evolution of these ideals in different times and places has contributed to the formation of modern American ideals.}

The Civics Alliance notes American Birthright stresses “clarity” more than other social studies standards:

{We have eliminated the tangle of skills and crosswalks and concentrated on facts to learn, presented in a simple list of factual items. Each grade’s standards are written in bullet points and it contains only four social studies disciplines. We also eliminated all electives and provided one K-12 sequence of courses. American Birthright’s straightforward structure makes it easy for teachers to use and easy for parents to hold teachers accountable for how well they teach social studies. We expect the states and school districts to modify the sequence we offer—but they can do so knowing with absolute clarity what is the total social studies education we believe they should provide.}

One of the primary ways American Birthright differs from current social studies standards is its two-year Western Civilization sequence in Grades 8-9.

Virtually every state has quietly abandoned teaching Western Civilization and substituted a vague, frequently politicized World History course,” the Civics Alliance notes, adding:

{American students no longer learn the coherent narrative of the ideals and institutions of liberty embedded in the history of Western Civilization—a narrative that students must learn if they are to understand the intellectual background of the Founding Fathers, and of Americans who continued to expand liberty in the following centuries. American Birthright champions the two-year Western Civilization sequence and calls on the states to restore it to their social studies standards.}

The American Birthright model standards are released as Congress considers a bill, supported by some Republicans, including Senators John Cornyn (TX), James Inhofe (OK), and Bill Cassidy (LA), that could expand Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools throughout the nation…

In a statement June 30, as DeSantis released the positive results of Florida’s 2022 civics assessments since implementation of its civics standards that emphasize the exceptional nature of the American founding, the governor’s office referenced “the misleadingly titled ‘Civics Secures Democracy Act (CSDA),’ that “would allow the Biden administration to buy off states with $6 billion if they sacrifice American History for Critical Race Theory and Biden’s other political whims of the day.”

“While the Biden administration is seeking to award grants to indoctrinate students with ideologies like Critical Race Theory, in Florida we have focused on Civics Excellence, teaching accurate American History without an ideological agenda,” DeSantis said. “Our students and teachers have worked hard to elevate their Civics Excellence and are proving to the nation that Florida is the national model for cultivating great citizens.”

The stronger the state standards, the harder for CSDA to ruin state education,” the NAS’s Randall told The Star News Network in response to a question about how passing the Biden administration’s CSDA measure could affect states that might adopt American Birthright.

“American Birthright would provide a partial defense against CSDA,” Randall explained. “But American Birthright won’t be a perfect shield. The best defense against CSDA is not to pass it in the first place. So long as 41 senators stand firm against it, it won’t.”

Describing American Birthright as a model social studies standard “for all Americans,” the Civics Alliance emphasizes its framework is designed “to reject the radical, divisive, and discriminatory identity-politics embodied in such pedagogies as Critical Race Theory”:

{Rather, students will learn in American Birthright that America’s ideals, embodied in the steady expansion of liberty that animates our wonderful country’s history, bar no race, sex, or creed.

They also will learn the contributions that Americans from every walk of life have made to our shared history of liberty, and of America’s championship of liberty throughout the world.

Students will learn of great Americans such as Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ronald Reagan—and learn that we Americans today can build on our shared affection and reverence for these champions of freedom to work together to preserve our nation and our republic, and to deepen yet further our country’s commitment to its ideals of liberty.}

“State standards are the single most influential documents in America’s education system,” Randall said. “State education departments use them to provide guidance to each public K-12 school district and charter school as they create their own courses.”

He added, however, that American Birthright “should not just be imposed on states and school districts.”

“The Civics Alliance crafted rigorous standards to make it straightforward for policymakers to create equally rigorous equivalents with different priorities, whether by abbreviating some topics and primary source readings, expanding others, or adjusting the course sequences,” he emphasized. “States and school districts should and will modify American Birthright in detail.”

“Proper social studies standards are a linchpin in the work to educate a new generation of Americans who understand and appreciate their nation’s past and who respect and are prepared to sacrifice for their country,” Randall explained in the statement. “American children should be equipped to continue the work bequeathed to them by the Founders—to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

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7.7.22 – “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Exposes John Cornyn-Sponsored Civics Bill Expanding Critical Race Theory in Public Schools”
By Admin – The Star Network

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