Hans Zeiger in the Washington Examiner: “Finding Common Ground on Civic Education”
Bitter political disagreements seem to have driven Americans apart more than ever before in our lifetimes. Difficult as it may seem to bridge the gap between Left and Right, the founders left us a guide for recovering the common good: the U.S. Constitution. A shared conception of citizenship rooted in that document, and its ideas about equality, liberty, and self-government, can inspire real unity in the midst of serious disagreement.
Sponsored by my organization, the Jack Miller Center, a recent survey by RealClear Opinion Research in partnership with the Trafalgar Group shows just how many people still believe in the importance of these values and civic education. For example, 89% of parents say it is “very important” that their child has “a basic understanding of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the responsibilities of citizenship before they graduate from high school.”
This is encouraging news. Divided though we may be along partisan lines, our polling shows there is remarkable unity among America’s parents — across political, ethnic, and other demographic categories — about the kind of civic knowledge the next generation needs to develop the habits of self-government…
Hans Zeiger is the president of the Jack Miller Center and comes to the organization with a background in state and local elected service, and has written and spoken extensively on topics related to American history and civics. Hans previously spent a decade in the Washington State legislature, including service as chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee and ranking member on the House Higher Education Committee. He gained a reputation as a bipartisan collaborator, being named by the National Institute for Civil Discourse as co-recipient of the Gabrielle Giffords Award for Civility in State Governance in 2015. Following his legislative service, Hans was a member of the County Council for Pierce County, Washington State’s second largest county.
Hans led the Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute from 2012 to 2020. He was an adjunct professor of political science at Seattle Pacific University. He was also a Leadership Fellow of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and a Rodel Fellow of the Aspen Institute.
He previously served as a public affairs officer in the Washington Air National Guard. He deployed in support of Operation ALLIES WELCOME, taking part in the resettlement of Afghan refugees in 2021.
Hans holds a bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College and a master’s in public policy from Pepperdine University. He also studied American politics at Claremont Graduate University.
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