Public Education Partners is strongly opposed to Ohio House Bill 103. HB 103 seeks to replace curriculum created in Ohio, for Ohio’s schools and students, with so-called American Birthright social studies standards created by out-of-state interests to indoctrinate children with partisan political views. Social studies standards included in American Birthright represent extreme efforts to overhaul public K-12 curricula to align with the dictates of culture war ideology.
The National Council for the Social Studies has determined that the suggested social studies American Birthright standards developed by the Civics Alliance do not align with best practices related to the development of social studies standards, and it does support the use of these standards.
The National Association of Scholars (NAS) is an American politically conservative education advocacy organization aimed at “reforming higher education” by advocating against multiculturalism, diversity policies, and courses focused on race and gender issues. In 2021, NAS created the Civics Alliance to promote the 1776 Curriculum, published by Hillsdale College, to “reform K-12 education.” One of its initiatives is the American Birthright set of K-12 social studies standards.
According to a detailed investigative report about the American Birthright curriculum by Kathryn Joyce, much of American Birthright reflects recent education fights. Read Kathryn Joyce’s report for more ludicrous examples of “standards” included in American Birthright social studies standards.
Dr. Mary Lightbody is an experienced educator and true scholar on the Ohio House Primary and Secondary Education Committee who has sponsored House Bill 171 to bring multiculturalism to social studies lessons in our K-12 classrooms. Lightbody’s made-in-Ohio bill would include information about the history and contributions of cultural minority groups into a model curriculum for social studies classes.
HB 171 has been assigned to Ohio House Primary & Secondary Education Committee for its first hearing on Tuesday, June 20, at 4:00pm.
Considering House Bill 171, Honesty for Ohio Education shared on its website: Ohio has a rich history of contributions and contributors, at the local level, around the state, nationally and internationally. We deserve social studies model curricula that reflects our diverse histories and communities.
Diversifying our social studies means more students will see themselves in their curriculum. Multiple studies show that culturally relevant instruction is more engaging to students, resulting in better academic outcomes. A 2020 study from the National Education Association showed that students of color, in particular, who participated in courses that reflected different identities, cultures, and backgrounds had a greater sense of belonging and sense of self.
Students care about themselves and others more when diverse histories and identities are taught. When students’ identities are reflected in the classroom, students behave more positively toward themselves, their educators, and their peers. Research has found “a statistically significant association between observations of culturally responsive teaching and proactive behavior management practices.”
In order for students to be prepared to participate in our multiracial democracy and economy, students need to understand the contributions and legacies of many diverse communities.
While House Bill 171 would revise our current K12 social studies model curriculum to include instruction on the migration, experiences, and contributions of diverse communities, House Bill 103 would radically replace the current standards with the extreme American Birthright program to emphasize Western history, American exceptionalism, patriotism, and Christianity over civic engagement.
HB 103 is a dishonest attempt to micromanage Ohio K-12 educational curriculum based on ideology that is rooted in the politically motivated culture wars- it needs to be thrown out.
Ask the Ohio House Primary and Secondary Education Committee to seriously consider House Bill 171 and then focus on passing this culturally relevant curriculum policy- MADE IN OHIO!