Civics Instruction Moves Up in Class

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tags: education, civics



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After years on the back burner of the nation’s educational agenda, civics is making a comeback, with a number of states mandating new classes or assessments and a burgeoning national push for high-school seniors to pass the exam required of new citizens.

For the first time this past school year, a civics exam in Florida counted toward students’ grades, following a mandated class and exam instated the year before, while students in Tennessee started facing a required test two years ago. The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education mandated that the subject be a key component for learning at the state’s colleges and universities starting this school year. Both California and Illinois have statewide task forces and local projects aimed at embedding civics in schools.

“We’re seeing more rumblings of states and local districts recognizing the need for civic engagement, especially for youth,” said Paul Baumann, director of the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement at the Education Commission of the States, a nonprofit.




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