Civics Education Debate Spreads across Country as States Consider Testing Students’ Knowledge
The Education Commission of the States (ECS) recently released an “Education Trends” report on the Civics Education Initiative, which aims to have all states require students to pass the United States Citizenship Civics test, a 100-question test that immigrants must pass as a condition of becoming U.S. citizens.
The initiative’s supporters and opponents disagree over whether civics education should be factual or skilled-based. Supporters believe that a civics test will instill civic responsibilities and inspire civic participation by requiring students to learn about our country’s history and government. Opponents, however, believe that civic education must begin by inspiring, engaging, and challenging students. Forcing students to memorize facts could discourage them from engaging in civic affairs.
ECS recaps the initiative’s legislative efforts across the country in 2015: