major CIRCLE study of state policies for civics

Yesterday, we released a study of all the states’ standards, course requirements, and tests related to civic education. The American Enterprise Institute’s Program on American Citizenship says, “New CIRCLE Research Confirms: Civic Education Lacking in Most States.” The Washington Examiner is pithier: “Civics Cuckoos: Only 9 states require high schoolers pass civics.” Nora Fleming, in Ed Week, quotes me for a summary:

“The standards in most states include some high aspirations, but typically have nothing to do with assessments. The standards are miscellaneous, the assessments are lacking, and when they are high stakes, they are trivial,” Levine said. “I think in a big, deep way, civics and preparation for citizenship has been left out by policymakers, who think in terms of preparation for college and for a difficult labor market but don’t think of civics as part of this.”

Over at “Voices for Education” (the blog of Harvard Education publishing), I make an argument for the kind of civic education we need. I will have a longer Huffington Post editorial up pretty soon with a different version of the argument. [Update; it’s here.]

Nora Fleming also uses the study as a springboard for a second piece in which she describes Mikva Challenge as an example of good programming; see “Out of School Engagement in Civic Education and the 2012 Election.”

About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.
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