Euclidian Geometry and Constitutional Civics

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Euclidian Geometry and Constitutional Civics

Just after elec­tion day, on which MA gov­er­nor Char­lie Baker was re-​elected by an over­whelm­ing major­ity, he signed a bi-​partisan bill to require civics edu­ca­tion in pub­lic schools in our commonwealth.

Among other things, the law requires eighth-​graders to com­plete at least one student-​led civics project and it estab­lishes a Civics Project Trust Fund, which schools can use for teacher train­ing, cur­ricu­lum devel­op­ment and to part­ner with insti­tu­tions of higher edu­ca­tion on projects related to civics. It also cre­ates a non­par­ti­san high school voter chal­lenge pro­gram to raise aware­ness for eli­gi­ble stu­dents to reg­is­ter or pre-​register to vote.

On the sur­face, this looks like a great thing. Unfor­tu­nately, we’re talk­ing about the same “edu­ca­tors” who pushed Com­mon Core, which has ruined the math­e­mat­ics edu­ca­tion of an entire gen­er­a­tion, now design­ing a civics cur­ricu­lum. And with a leg­is­la­ture that is super-​majority demo­c­rat (12732 in the House and 346 in the Sen­ate) and the most lib­eral “Repub­li­can” gov­er­nor in the coun­try with­out the abil­ity to sus­tain a veto, one can be sure that the cur­ricu­lum won’t be based on Con­sti­tu­tional Originalism.

When I learned geom­e­try in high school, we started from a few basic axioms first laid out by Euclid and built every­thing else from there. This included some­times very com­plex proofs of three-​dimensional prop­er­ties of dif­fer­ent shapes that could all even­tu­ally be traced back to the orig­i­nal rules. And these were not just rules that every­one agreed to. They were rules that just were true. If you tried to base proofs on a dif­fer­ent set of rules, you were either wrong or per­haps you were deal­ing with a dif­fer­ent type of geometry.

In my opin­ion, civics should be the same way. As Amer­i­cans, our civics starts with the Con­sti­tu­tion. It says what it says and every­thing our coun­try has accom­plished over the past 242 years can be traced back to that doc­u­ment and its amend­ments. If this new civics cur­ricu­lum can just edu­cate our chil­dren that the pur­pose of the Con­sti­tu­tion is to limit what gov­ern­ment can do and not to grant rights that didn’t exist before some black-​robed lawyers decided to make them up, I’d con­sider that a win.

I hope you all had a blessed and happy Thanks­giv­ing. We should all be thank­ful for Pete and DaT­e­chGuy blog, so please sub­scribe or at least hit DaTipJar.

Just after election day, on which MA governor Charlie Baker was re-elected by an overwhelming majority, he signed a bi-partisan bill to require civics education in public schools in our commonwealth.

Among other things, the law requires eighth-graders to complete at least one student-led civics project and it establishes a Civics Project Trust Fund, which schools can use for teacher training, curriculum development and to partner with institutions of higher education on projects related to civics. It also creates a nonpartisan high school voter challenge program to raise awareness for eligible students to register or pre-register to vote.

On the surface, this looks like a great thing. Unfortunately, we’re talking about the same “educators” who pushed Common Core, which has ruined the mathematics education of an entire generation, now designing a civics curriculum. And with a legislature that is super-majority democrat (127-32 in the House and 34-6 in the Senate) and the most liberal “Republican” governor in the country without the ability to sustain a veto, one can be sure that the curriculum won’t be based on Constitutional Originalism.

When I learned geometry in high school, we started from a few basic axioms first laid out by Euclid and built everything else from there. This included sometimes very complex proofs of three-dimensional properties of different shapes that could all eventually be traced back to the original rules. And these were not just rules that everyone agreed to. They were rules that just were true. If you tried to base proofs on a different set of rules, you were either wrong or perhaps you were dealing with a different type of geometry.

In my opinion, civics should be the same way. As Americans, our civics starts with the Constitution. It says what it says and everything our country has accomplished over the past 242 years can be traced back to that document and its amendments. If this new civics curriculum can just educate our children that the purpose of the Constitution is to limit what government can do and not to grant rights that didn’t exist before some black-robed lawyers decided to make them up, I’d consider that a win.

I hope you all had a blessed and happy Thanksgiving. We should all be thankful for Pete and DaTechGuy blog, so please subscribe or at least hit DaTipJar.