Commentary: A Republic if You Can Teach It

President Biden has a civics lesson that he is fond of and regularly repeats. It is about how the United States is unique in the world because of the founding ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.

“Unlike every other nation on Earth, we were founded based on an idea,” he notes before adding that “while we’ve never fully lived up” to those principles, “we have never given up on them.”

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Commentary: Civics Education Is More Important Than Ever

At its founding, American K-12 public education was meant to prepare young people to be active participants in our democratic republic. That should still be its highest purpose, especially when it comes to teaching civics.

Historically, public schools held fast to the principle that effective education must be non-partisan. Knowing they had great power to influence young minds, teachers used to be careful to choose content and pedagogies that restricted their ability to impose their personal political views on schoolchildren.

Today, maintaining non-partisanship is more important than ever in classrooms. Sadly, it’s increasingly dishonored. Civics has become a hot-button issue of late, particularly after remote learning allowed more parents to see what their children were actually being taught. Many were not happy with what they saw, and the debate over civics education is symptomatic of the larger divide that has become such a looming threat to American society.

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Commentary: America’s Civics and History Class Failures

Six former U.S. education secretaries, who served under both Democratic and Republican presidents, are sounding the alarm about the grave danger our constitutional democracy faces. Years of political polarization have culminated in riots in our cities spanning months, along with the storming of the U.S. Capitol. These events point to a root cause of our plight: our failure to provide sound civics and history teaching in America’s K-12 schools.

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Commentary: America’s Gun Culture Cultivates Civic Virtue

by Aaron Tao   Many people are often surprised to learn that I am a gun owner and firm defender of the Second Amendment. After all, I, a first-generation Chinese-American immigrant, do not fit the stereotype of the typical American gun owner. Of all of America’s cherished freedoms, the natural and…

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Commentary: A Great Civic Awakening to America’s ‘Founding Virtues’

by Annie Holmquist   When it comes to the direction of society Americans (surprisingly) agree: things are not getting better. That’s the conclusion one quickly draws from a recent Pew Research report which asks what America will look like in 2050. As the chart below shows, Americans think the country will be less…

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Commentary: Parents, Smart Government Requires Teaching Children Civics

by Brad Johnson   In the fall of 2012, I excitedly began my senior year government class. I was about to sit through a course on our system of government while also watching it play out right before my eyes on its biggest stage during the 2012 election. Much to…

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