Saturday, September 19, 2009

Civics Knowledge -- No Longer A Priority?

Long piece in The Nation on the state of civics knowledge today in schools, etc., and the decline of civics as a priority.  Including this line:
If you believe that the success of our participatory democracy is directly related to how it prepares its youngest citizens, then you must worry that our democracy is in sorry shape. 

Yup, gotta agree.  But let's face it, No Child Left Untested does not include civics, so why bother?  Pass me the math book, please, gotta do a standardized test tomorrow, and next week, and the week after that ...

And I'll end with this from the article (which I encourage you to read in full):
Our young people's civic ignorance is a long-term threat. The decision to vote can be traced to our civic knowledge. "Nonvoting results from a lack of knowledge about what government is doing and where parties and candidates stand, not from a knowledgeable rejection of government or parties or a lack of trust in government," write Samuel Popkin and Michael Dimock. That was George Washington's point all along: active citizens are integral to democracy, and schools are the training grounds for those citizens.

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