When I began to read Loretta Robert’s commentary on the “Civics Secures Democracy Act,” I immediately became suspicious ("Teaching 'action civics' is a threat to our nation," The Daily News, April 2). When she claimed the legislation was “radical,” I became more suspicious.
I thought to myself, is there something wrong with encouraging our students to be more politically active and engaged?
Being curious, I looked up this proposed legislation recently introduced in Congress. Based on Robert’s characterization of the legislation as “radical,” I was shocked to see that the bill was introduced by a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators, including Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, and U.S. Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, both staunch conservative Republicans.
The act would provide a variety of grants to support and expand access to civics and history education. Having taught U.S. history at the college level for 30 years, I'm frequently concerned about the paucity of knowledge today’s students have about our history and the fundamentals of how our democratic republic works.
The Jan. 6 insurrection was a stark warning that our republic and our democracy are fragile and at risk. It’s crucial that our students be civically minded, civically responsible and civically engaged. This proposed legislation sounds like a good idea to me.