Will “action civics” prevail in Texas?

“Action civics” is the means through which the left intends to indoctrinate students in radical dogma and enlist them as foot soldiers in radical activism. It has already effectively been imposed by law in Illinois and Massachusetts.

But to perform its full transformative function, action civics needs to penetrate Red States. That’s why this report by Stanley Kurtz — “Civics Showdown in Texas” — is alarming.

Stanley writes:

Texas is target number one in the Left’s play to turn the red states blue with a radicalized version of “civics.”. . .

Several civics bills have been introduced into the Texas Legislature and they run the gamut from 1) a bill that would impose leftist political indoctrination patterned on the Illinois and Massachusetts models on Texas; 2) stealth bills that would do the same over time; 3) a bill that would do no immediate harm but would offer no protections against the encroachments of action civics; 4) bills that would encourage civics, properly understood, while also protecting against the abuses represented by action civics and critical race theory.

Stanley provides his usual thorough run down of each piece of legislation. He points out that the second such bill is sponsored by a conservative Republican, Keith Bell. In its own way, his proposal is at least as dangerous as the first one.

The third bill, sponsored by Texas Senate Education Committee Chair Larry Taylor, has merit. But Stanley warns:

[O]verreaching leftist bureaucrats (and Texas does have some) might still find a way to get around it and impose action civics. It would not be difficult to take advantage of a provision in existing law calling on educators to “keep abreast of the development of creative and innovative techniques of instruction,” to start sliding action civics into the schools.

The only good outcome, then, would be a legislative ban on the whole menu of action civics techniques. Identical bills offered by Republican State Representatives Steve Toth and James White bar action civics and the teaching of critical race theory altogether.

As awful as critical race theory is, Stanley finds the ban on teaching it problematic. He explains that “banning ideas from the classroom, even where the right to do so exists, invites abuse and blowback.” In addition, he worries about state curriculum bans overriding local authority.

Stanley concludes on a broader note:

A broad coalition has now organized to oppose action civics. Up to now, legislators could not be expected to recognize or anticipate this stealthy education initiative from the left. Henceforth, however, the stakes are out in the open. Should legislators impose leftist protests and indoctrination on K-12 systems in their states via “action civics,” voters will hold them responsible.

Texas voters, I would hope, would be especially quick to do so.

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