HB 5: "An Act requiring a standardized statewide history of American constitutionalism curriculum and a secondary school history of American constitutionalism examination in public schools in the state; and providing for an effective date."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 5 01 "An Act requiring a standardized statewide history of American constitutionalism 02 curriculum and a secondary school history of American constitutionalism examination 03 in public schools in the state; and providing for an effective date." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 06 to read: 07 SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the American Constitutionalism History 08 Literacy Act. 09 * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 10 read: 11 LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. The legislature finds that 12 (1) the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of 13 Confederation, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights were seminal 14 events in the history of the United States of America;
01 (2) American constitutionalism represents this country's greatest gift to human 02 freedom; its ideals, ideas, and institutions have influenced different people in different lands 03 at different times; 04 (3) an early understanding of American constitutionalism empowers students 05 to make rational, evidence-based decisions regarding their civic judgments, rights, and duties; 06 (4) a number of historical written documents that appeared over a span of 15 07 years continue to serve to define our national identity and our constitutional republic form of 08 government: the Declaration of Independence, the first state constitutions, the Articles of 09 Confederation, the Constitution of the United States, the Federalist Papers, and the Bill of 10 Rights; a general understanding of the philosophies and historical context that generated those 11 documents is an essential element in the education of Alaska students; 12 (5) the Citizens' Advisory Task Force on Civics Education Policy, in its report 13 dated January 2008, made a strong case for improving civics education; this Act should be 14 applied in the context of school district response to the recommendations in the report. 15 * Sec. 3. AS 14.03 is amended by adding a new section to read: 16 Sec. 14.03.072. Statewide history of American constitutionalism 17 curriculum and examination; annual report. (a) The board shall establish by 18 regulation statewide curriculum and examination standards at all grade levels to ensure 19 and test students' understanding of the history of American constitutionalism as 20 portrayed in the Declaration of Independence, the first state constitutions, the Articles 21 of Confederation, the Constitution of the United States, the Federalist Papers, the Bill 22 of Rights, and other historical documents produced in the founding of our 23 constitutional republic model of government. 24 (b) The department shall prepare and submit an annual report to the governor 25 and to the legislature that describes the regulations adopted under this section and 26 measures the success of the curriculum and examination. 27 * Sec. 4. AS 14.03.075(a) is amended to read: 28 (a) A student may not be issued a secondary school diploma unless the student 29 passes a competency examination in the areas of reading, English, history of 30 American constitutionalism, and mathematics or receives a waiver from the 31 governing body. A governing body may not grant a waiver to a student before the
01 student's final semester of attendance. The department shall determine the form and 02 contents of the examination and shall score completed examinations. 03 * Sec. 5. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 04 read: 05 TRANSITION: REGULATIONS. The Department of Education and Early 06 Development may proceed to adopt regulations authorized by sec. 3 of this Act. The 07 regulations may not take effect before the effective date of sec. 3 of this Act. 08 * Sec. 6. Section 5 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c). 09 * Sec. 7. Except as provided in sec. 6 of this Act, this Act takes effect July 1, 2012.