The American Civics and History Act, model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), pre-dates the recent news reports about test scores. It was written and introduced in 2021 in response to the COVID pandemic and what appeared to be a general lack of understanding among the nation's students.
"It's staggering how many students don't have a good understanding of this stuff," comments ALEC's Andrew Handel. "The model policy simply sets forth strong requirements for civics and history in middle and high school."
The American Civics and History Act also mandates that courses on the three branches of government, for example, be taken. It requires that students take a civics test modeled after the 2020 version of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Civics Test as well.
"We've also got some academic transparency provisions in there to make sure that teachers are teaching the right stuff and that parents are fully apprised of what's being taught to their kids," Handel adds.
Additionally, the measure prohibits public schools, public school districts, and public school employees from forcing students to agree with or adhere to a particular point of view on currently controversial political and social topics.