Posts Tagged ‘Citizenship’


Young people today have large and disturbing gap in their knowledge of history and civics.

  • One-third of fourth graders do not know what it means to “pledge allegiance to the flag.”
  • Twenty-eight percent of eighth graders do not know the reason why the Civil War was fought.
  • Nearly one in five high school seniors think that Germany was an ally of the United States in World War II.
  • A little over a third of young Americans can’t tell you the length of a term of a member of the House of Representatives.
  • Graduating seniors at some of our leading colleges and universities cannot correctly identify words from the Gettysburg Address, or do not know that James Madison is the father of the Constitution.
  • Fewer than one in two young people (18-24) bothered to vote in the 2004 presidential election.

These findings are disturbing and threaten the future of our democracy. Our schools have greatly diminished the emphasis on history, social studies and civics. These subjects have lost out to rote preparation for high-stakes tests. Civics education, once a mainstay of the grade school experience, is now just a quaint idea.George W. Bush is not one you will hear me quoting often, but we actually agree in this area:

“American children are not born knowing what they should cherish — are not born knowing why they should cherish American values. A love of democratic principles must be taught.” – George W. Bush (Speech Introducing Civics Initiatives, 9/2002)

The Heinlein Maneuver will address this disparity, study the rights and duties of citizenship, and prepare the young men we touch to be informed and active citizens.The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) has an online History & Civics Quiz. Check out your civics IQ, and help us develop a civics curriculum.


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