Our constitutional democracy is in peril. After years of polarization, the United States is highly divided, and there is widespread loss of confidence in our very form of government and civic order. For many decades, we have neglected civics and history, and we now have a citizenry and electorate who are poorly prepared to understand, appreciate, and use our form of government and civic life.
At the federal level, we spend approximately $50 per student per year on STEM fields and approximately $0.05 per student per year on civics. A lack of consensus about the substance of history and civics—what and how to teach—has been a major obstacle to maintaining excellence. The Educating for American Democracy (EAD) initiative provides tools to make civics and history a priority so that we as a country can rebuild our civic strength to meet the modern challenges we are facing.
The EAD initiative demonstrates that an ideologically, demographically, and professionally diverse group can agree about history and civics content, as well as pedagogy. This detailed consensus, presented in a broad Roadmap that allows states, localities, and educators to assess and reprioritize their own approaches, will encourage investments in civics and history at all levels.