What’s in the Secretary of State’s ‘new’ civics?

Concerned about voter mistrust, VT Secretary of State’s Office promises updated ‘civics’ educational materials

By Guy Page

The Vermont Secretary of State’s Office announced yesterday it will produce civics teaching materials in an effort to reduce Vermonter’s cynicism, lack of knowledge, and distrust regarding state and national elections and government.

“Lately I have been considering this question alongside another crisis we are facing: a declining public trust in our government and institutions,” Deputy Secretary of State Chris Winters said in an op-ed. “…..Through civics, we can gain an appreciation for free speech, assembly, and protest, but just as important we learn about civil discourse, debate, compromise, and how to engage with others who may not agree with you.”

The Secretary of State’s Office says it is committed to reviving civics education and will leverage knowledge of elections and history in the Vermont State Archives to produce educational materials.

“We have started the process of convening stakeholders to assist us in this critical mission, and welcome both your input and participation. We are seeking funding and additional partners so if you have interest or an idea, please reach out,” Winters urged. His work email address is

In days to come Vermont Daily Chronicle will cover news about this development, including the names and perspectives of stakeholders as they become available. It remains to be seen if the Vermont initiative follows the traditional path of teaching Constitutional government, or a national, politically-progressive ‘civics’ movement represented by, which describes itself as “a national cross-partisan coalition of over 100 organizations focused on improving our nation’s K-12 in and out-of-school civic education.”

But a quick visit to the CivxNow website betrays a perspective of concern to some Vermonters.

The front page blares, “DENOUNCING THE ASSAULT ON OUR CAPITOL. January 6, 2021 is a day that will live in infamy. The violence visited upon the U.S. Capitol — the very building that symbolizes our constitutional democracy — is further evidence of the fragility of our democracy. The leadership of the CivXNow Coalition unites in condemning the insurrection and urges all citizens and leaders to do the same.

Just below that supposedly ‘cross-partisan’ statement is a link to a white paper titled “Equity in Civic Education.” The opening paragraph contains this run-on sentence: 

“At the same time, our ongoing work gained renewed urgency in the wake of the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, along with far too many other unarmed Black Americans at the hands of the police, has elevated public concern around racial inequity in our society, causing millions of people to reconsider their responsibility in combating systemic racism. All the while, groups of individuals are using misinformation and disinformation in virtual spaces to further incite fear and mistrust amongst the people.”

Clearly, the concept of ‘civics education’ as taught by CiviXNow isn’t about Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms or your father’s junior high civics class. Time will tell what version of civics the Vermont Secretary of State will present to Vermont educators and their students. 

Other organizations cited in the report are and 

Categories: Education

7 replies »

    • I think they have Ted Bundy lined up with a talk on “How to meet women” , John Wayne Gacy will give a workshop on “How to be a Clown” , and then the finale will be Bernie Madoff with his symposium on “Keeping your investments safe”

  1. How incredibly offensive and dense. Or maybe thats just Progressive Chris Winters. Those that question him, the SOS office, our government and institutions came from a time where not only was local history taught, but civics, our Constitution and Bill of Rights. I’m am absolutely certain my teacher knew and taught us far more than Mr Winters will be able to produce. How dare he assume we aren’t well educated on the subject. Additionally, if he’d like to know where the lack of trust comes from regarding elections he only needs to walk to a mirror with Condos and take a look. THERE IN lies the problem with secure elections in Vermont….that and our Progressive Legislature who passed vote by mail with no safeguards. Maybe Mr. Winters could explain why ID isn’t required when voting? Oh thats right, its racist….I’m sure that makes the BIPOC population feel really good that their government thinks they aren’t capable of obtaining ID. This is the same Chris Winters who said this?? “Vermont uses vote tabulation machines manufactured by Dominion, Deputy Secretary of State Chris Winters told Vermont Daily on Monday. However they are older models than the machines now under scrutiny in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, he said.” This is absolutely laughable to anyone with a shred of technological expertise. That statement ACTUALLY make me feel much much less confident about Vermonts’ elections than before his statement. Can’t wait to see the update, Guy. THX.

  2. Sounds like total blm,crt bull shit,
    Time to remove Secretary of State as a one sided opinion.

    When the hell are voters in this state going to wake the hell up

  3. But you see because we disagree with him, and the rest of the Bernieites we therefor need to be educated, indoctrinated, programed, deprogramed, brain washed, whatever ! We used to be able to disagree, or take an alternate position from others, and it was no big deal, that was part of what made the world go round. Now a days when you disagree with the left you are a racist, a white supremacist, an oppressor, and you have been since you were born, and now evidently, we can add ignorance (an obvious lack of knowledge of the finer points of civics) to the list of failings that we white folks are born into. They (the woker than thou) know all that about you without even knowing your name, much less the content of your character, experience, or education. There is an old say that states “ignorance is bliss” but ignorance is in fact just ignorance. To people like Chris Winters that prejudge people that they don’t know from Adam, simply because they disagree with him, and his beliefs I would ask, are you blissful ?

Leave a Reply