(National Association of Scholars Press Release, March 22, 2021)
New York, NY, March 22, 2021 — Today, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) is announcing the launch of The Civics Alliance, which will work to unite Americans in the effort to preserve civics education that teaches the United States’ founding principles and documents, key events of American history, the structure of our self-governing federal republic, and the spirit of liberty and tolerance.
“This new alliance is a necessary step to ensure that the teaching of our Nation’s civics and history accords with the principles of its founding and the reality of that history,” explained NAS president Peter W. Wood. “Progressive action civics, while encouraging our students to become activists, fails to promote a full understanding of civics. It fails to teach the responsibilities of citizenship, how our federal republic operates, and the Founders’ reasoning behind America’s balance of powers, Bill of Rights, or encouragement of public education.”
The Civics Alliance brings together education reformers, policymakers, and concerned citizens dedicated to preserving traditional civics education against the threat of New Civics. Some of the original signatories to the Alliance include Robert Woodson, founder and president of the Woodson Center and 1776 Unites; Ryan Williams, president of The Claremont Institute; Wilfred McClay, professor of the history of liberty at the University of Oklahoma; Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion; and Glenn Loury, professor of social sciences at Brown University.
In addition to The Civics Alliance Open Letter and Curriculum Statement, which all are welcome to sign, NAS includes a toolkit for signatories to use to guide and influence civics instruction in their institutions, local schools, and states.
David Randall, NAS director of research added: “Civics class shouldn’t be an opportunity to indoctrinate students. It should be an opportunity to teach students about our means of self-government and the spirit of tolerance and liberty.”
The Civics Alliance Open Letter makes a number of recommendations to encourage non-partisan civics instruction at both K-12 schools and colleges.
With this Alliance, NAS hopes to return civics education to a traditional curriculum, so that America’s students will learn about the nature of their republic and be prepared to fulfill their civic duty by ensuring that it continues to preserve the liberties and rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at www.nas.org.