Courtesy of the American Democracy Project

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Interactive Map Shows State Civic Education Policies

In the past two years, many states have been updating their civic education policies, some to conform with Common Core standards or to adopt the new College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for social studies. CIRCLE has created a new interactive map designed to quickly see where states stand on key civic education measures like required years of social studies in high school or assessments at the state level.

The interactive map lets users explore by regions and allows for custom comparisons between states. By double-clicking on a state you can also get a more detailed snapshot of a state’s civic education within the context of other key information like educational spending, population demographics, political climate, and voting rates (see a sample PDF).

Explore the map HERE.

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Florida, Tennessee, and Hawaii: Three Case Studies of Civic Education Policy

Recently, CIRCLE conducted case studies of new or revised civic education reforms in three states:

– In Florida, the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Education Act mandates a high-stakes standardized test in civics.
– In Hawaii, a required “Participation in Democracy” course places a strong emphasis on experiential education. The requirement was passed in 2006 and an effort to repeal it was defeated.
– In Tennessee, recent legislation mandates project-based civics assessments at the middle and high school levels.

CIRCLE released a short fact sheet that describes each bill or proposal in detail, including the advantages and drawbacks identified by both proponents and detractors. They also released a paper that includes interviews with prominent stakeholders in each state and takes an initial look at the process behind each proposal and some of the issues faced by the educators tasked with implementing them.

Download the Fact Sheet here.
Download the Working Paper here.

Both the civic education map and these case studies were funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.