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What We’re Reading: ECS’s 50 State Comparison on Civic Education

From the Education Commission of the States:

50-State Comparison: Civic Education and Companion Report

With the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act, states have innovative opportunities to provide students with a well-rounded education. Civic education is a vital aspect of a well-rounded education and states across the country have passed legislation related to civic learning and engagement. The ultimate goal is to provide students with opportunities to actively participate in civic and democratic life.

This 50-State Comparison is an update to the 50-State Comparison: Civic Education Policies, released in 2013, and provides a statewide overview of social studies and civic education legislation and identifies trends, distinctions and outliers. The Companion Report for this 50-State Comparison highlights key legislation and specific school curricula related to civic education.

“Exploring and understanding how states across the country approach civic learning and citizenship education through policy and curriculum opens the door for opportunities for improving policies and increasing student engagement in civic issues,” said Jan Brennan, project leader for the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement, a center within Education Commission of the States. “This 50-State Comparison serves as a resource to help states evaluate their current civic education policies and ensure their students are prepared for future civic engagement.”

Some key takeaways from this report:

  • More than half of the states require some form of civic education assessment.
  • The majority of states do not include civics, social studies or citizenship in their education accountability systems.
  • States vary considerably in the policy device and manner in which they address civic education in statute, administrative code, and curriculum and standards frameworks.

For questions, contact Education Commission of the States Communications Director Amy Skinner at askinner@ecs.org or (303) 299.3609.

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