K-12 Education

“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

Thomas Jefferson

The Problem

In 2023, only 14% of eighth graders scored “proficient” or above on the U.S. History NAEP test, the “Nation’s Report Card.” It was the lowest score ever recorded in the 30-year history of the test. For civics, a mere 22% were proficient or above. In a national poll, 19% of millennials stated the Communist Manifesto “better guarantees freedom and equality for all”  than the Declaration of Independence. American youth are divorced from the foundations of our democracy. Against this backdrop of historical illiteracy, we analyzed 29 civic education programs in 2022 and found that none sufficiently incorporates economics as a driving force in civic engagement.

Our Solution

American Civics Project (ACP) is an education initiative of Common Sense Society, supporting K-12 teachers by producing print and digital lesson plans, providing professional development programming, offering a web-based ACP certification program, and creating a social network for educators.

Our free, supplemental educational materials make a moral case for the American way of life by explaining why and how our free-market democracy is built on a highly evolved system of cooperation. Our lesson plans present the rise of the West and of America as a story of ever more effective cooperation catalyzed by ever improved market systems advanced by ever freer citizens. The “cooperation thesis” is ACP’s innovative, organizing principle.

Lesson Plans

We provide high-quality lesson plans and modules that contain a selection of primary resources, engaging assignments, and classroom activities. The curriculum spans from pre-history to the establishment of the U.S. Constitution to the subsequent history of American government, economy, and society. We officially sponsored the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference and provided educators with civics resources for their classrooms.

Digital Courses

American Civics Project offers 60-90 minute digital courses. Four core courses must be completed to achieve American Civics Project certification. The certification is required to attend ACP seminars.

Teacher Workshops

We host monthly, 90-minute in-person workshops which cover our newest modules. Workshops will be recorded and made available online.


Our seminars are a three-day long immersive experience with world renowned scholars, limited to 100 teachers. This targeted resource allows teachers to discuss the ideas in the American Civics Project.


ACP delivers bi-annual, national retreats for twenty of the most-engaged American Civics Project seminar graduates. Upon completion of the retreat, educators will be certified as ACP Master Teachers.

Learn more about American Civics Project or become an ACP Master Teacher by visiting americancivicsproject.org.
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