Please take the civics standards survey

Please check the revise or eliminate benchmark blocks and put a note in the comment section for these standards.

Revise SS.K.CL.1.2 which says “Define a constitution as an agreed-upon set of rules.”
Please put this comment

Revise the standard to read:
Our constitution is the supreme Law of the Land.
Reason: By defining the constitution as a rule rather than a law, you have downgraded the Constitution by calling it just “rules” and not “laws.”
Add this clarification under the benchmark:
Article VI of our Constitution includes these words:
This Constitution … shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby

Revise SS.2.CL.3.2 which says “Identify the United States as a constitutional republic.”
Please put this comment:

Revise the standard to read:
Identify the United States as a democratic constitutional republic.
Add this clarification under the benchmark:
Our democracy depends on citizens being able to freely elect leaders who will represent their interests and on our citizens to be able to easily remove those representatives who abuse their power. The policies that representatives pursue should be dictated by public opinion. Our constitutional republic depends on our representatives making sure the laws they pass adhere to the Constitution including the Bill of Rights which aims to protect the minority from tyranny of the majority.

Revise SS.3.CL.1.2 Describe how the United States government gains its power from the people.
Please put this comment:

Add this clarification under the benchmark:
Our democracy depends on citizens being able to freely elect leaders who will represent their interests and on our citizens to be able to easily remove those representatives who abuse their power. The policies that representatives pursue should be dictated by public opinion. Our constitutional republic depends on our representatives making sure the laws they pass adhere to the Constitution including the Bill of Rights which aims to protect the minority from tyranny of the majority.

Revise SS.4.CL.3.3 which says “Identify the United States as a constitutional republic.”

Revise the standard to read:
Identify the United States as a democratic constitutional republic.
Add this clarification under the benchmark:
Our democracy depends on citizens being able to freely elect leaders who will represent their interests and on our citizens to be able to easily remove those representatives who abuse their power. The policies that representatives pursue should be dictated by public opinion. Our constitutional republic depends on our representatives making sure the laws they pass adhere to the Constitution including the Bill of Rights which aims to protect the minority from tyranny of the majority.

Eliminate SS.7.CL.1.3 which says “Explain the influence of religion (Hebraic and Christian) on America’s founding ideas about law and government.”
Under the comments, write:

If you want to teach religion, then do it in an elective comparative religion course. Otherwise, let parents and the religious institutions they choose explain the meaning of their own religious doctrine and how it is similar to the laws of the United States.

Revise SS.7.CL.2.4 which says “Explain how the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights safeguards and limits individual rights.”
Under the comments, write:

Change the clarification by adding “and arguments against” to “examine rationales for.” The clarification now reads
● Students will examine rationales for government-imposed limitations on individual rights (e.g., forced internment in wartime, limitations on speech rationing during wartime, suspension of habeas corpus).

Revise SS.7.CL.3.1 which reads “Analyze the advantages of the United States constitutional republic over other forms of government in safeguarding liberty, freedom and a representative government.”

It’s important to note that we are a democracy and a republic. I fear that calling our government merely a “constitutional republic” down plays the importance of active citizen involvement.

Revise SS.7.CL.3.10 Analyze the effects of landmark Supreme Court cases on law, liberty and the interpretation of the United States Constitution.

Revise the clarification by substituting “including but not limited to” instead of “e.g.
The clarification now reads:
Students will recognize landmark Supreme Court cases (e.g., Marbury v. Madison; Dred Scott v. Sandford; Plessy v. Ferguson; Brown v. Board of Education; Gideon v. Wainwright; Miranda v. Arizona; In re Gault; United States v. Nixon; Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier).

Revise SS.7.CL.3.13 Explain the advantages of capitalism and a free market system over government-controlled economic systems (e.g., socialism and communism) in generating economic prosperity for all citizens

Revise the benchmark by substituting “the hybrid system of regulated capitalism and some social services run by the government” in place of “capitalism and a free market system

Eliminate SS.912.CL.1.2 Analyze the influence of religion (Hebraic and Christian) on America’s founding ideas about law and government.

If you want to teach religion, then do it in an elective comparative religion course. Otherwise, let parents and the religious institutions they choose explain the meaning of their own religious doctrine and how it is similar to the laws of the United States.

Revise SS.912.CL.2.2 Explain the importance of political and civic participation to the success of the United States constitutional republic.

Revise by changing this clarification from
● Students will describe the ways in which individuals can be denied and limited in their right to practice political and civic participation (e.g., losing voting rights for felony conviction, limitations on political contributions, limits on the type of protesting).
to
● Students will describe the ways in which individuals have be denied or limited in their right to practice political and civic participation (including but not limited to felony conviction and campaign finance laws that favor the wealthy)

Revise SS.912.CL.2.7 Explain how the principles contained in foundational documents contributed to the expansion of civil rights and liberties over time.

Revise by changing this clarification:
● Students will explain how different groups of people (e.g., African Americans, immigrants, Native Americans, women) had their civil rights expanded through legislation action (e.g., Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Act) executive action (e.g., Truman’s desegregation of the army and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation), and the courts (e.g., Brown v.Board of Education, In re Gault).
to
● Students will explain how different groups of people (e.g., African Americans, immigrants, Native Americans, women) were denied civil rights early in our country’s history but all Americans’ civil rights were made to be equal through constitutional amendments as well as court cases and legislative action.

Revise SS.912.CL.3.14 Analyze the role of federalism in establishing the relationship between the federal and state governments.

Revise by changing this clarification
from
● Students will analyze how states have challenged the federal government regarding states’ rights (e.g., Civil War, the New Deal, No Child Left Behind, Affordable Health Care Act and Civil Rights Movement).
TO
● Students will analyze how states have challenged the federal government regarding states’ rights (e.g. efforts at seceding from the United States by violent means and court cases challenging laws passed by Congress).


2 thoughts on “Please take the civics standards survey

  1. SS.7.CL.2.6 Compare the election and voting process at the community, local, state and federal levels.
    ● Students will explain how elections and voting impacts citizens at the community, local, state and federal levels.
    ● Students will explain how maintaining the integrity of the voting process promotes trust and the preservation of democratic institutions.

    Change this standard! What is “maintaining the integrity of the election process????” Also, my wording may not be perfect, but there is NO mention of equal opportunity to vote!

    CLARIFY what is meant by “MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTION PROCESS” in this statement: “Students will explain how maintaining the integrity of the voting process promotes trust and the preservation of democratic institutions.” New voting laws appear to doing just the opposite, and making it harder for some citizens to vote. This is highly politically charged language. ALSO, add statement about “ensuring that every eligible citizen has equal opportunity to vote easily and without due hardship.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SS.7.CL.3.14 Explain the why the Electoral College is essential to the United States’ constitutional republic.
    This is opinion, not fact. If this standard is included, revise it to be fair and unbiased. There are many excellent arguments for National Popular Vote (which of course would still maintain the Electoral College, but change its function.). And in light of many states’ efforts to have state legislators appoint Electors, or overrule votes of Electors, there is a good argument for relying strictly on popular vote.

    Liked by 1 person

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