Lessons in Citizenship

Naomi Schaefer Riley, Philanthropy magazine, Spring 2013.


Another new civic-education curriculum for secondary-school students (actually, three separate curricula) is What So Proudly We Hail. It was designed by former University of Chicago teachers Leon and Amy Kass, who are now fellows at the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute, respectively. “The last two years of high school are when you have young men and women who are mature and smart enough to read serious literature—and who are also coming of age as citizens,” says Eric Cohen, a philanthropic advisor to New York donor Roger Hertog, who helped fund the work.

The Kasses’ curricula aim to infuse some new life into the old standards of high-school education. One element, called “The American Calendar,” provides reading and discussion ideas for American holidays, from Veterans’ Day to Martin Luther King Day. By the time students reach high school, many teachers have run out of new things to say about these occasions and simply pass over them.