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Expanding Civics Education in Public Schools

Rep. Manweller gives a floor speech in support of House Bill 1896 – expanding civics education in public schools.

Parents and all of us concerned about education need to be aware of some disturbing trends in civic education at our nation’s universities and colleges.

Recently I wrote about a nationwide survey conducted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), in partnership with the University of Connecticut, of 14,000 college students from across the nation.

The survey found that when college seniors were tested on four subjects – American history, government, foreign policy and economics – the average correct score was just over 50%.

The Coming Crisis in Citizenship

Originally published online in July 2007 at the Washington Policy Center.

Thomas Jefferson was blunt when he talked about the role of education in a free society. He said,

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

Because Americans, in general, accept Jefferson’s admonition, we invest considerable time, effort, and money in our system of public education.

In return, we hope that our schools will teach children the basic facts about our history, government and economic system, preparing the next generation to be good citizens.