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In Case You Missed It: Civic Education 101

"The consequences of neglecting civic education are all around us," Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg writes.
"The consequences of neglecting civic education are all around us," Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg writes.

Each year, the federal government spends roughly $50 per student on STEM education. It spends 5 cents per student per year on civic education.

It’s no wonder that nearly a quarter of Americans can’t name a single branch of the government.

What is civic education? And what’s at stake when schools don’t require it?

From Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg in The Boston Globe:

The Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol was a stark reminder of the deep-seated problems in US democracy and a clarion call to address those problems by strengthening the civic instruction of our young people.

The consequences of neglecting civic education are all around us: rampant misinformation, disengagement from democratic action and institutions, acrimonious political divisions that pose a danger to the survival of our system of government, and a sentiment, shared by too many young Americans, that they have no place in American civic life.

Most states require at least one semester of civics instruction. The problem is not whether civics is taught, but how it’s taught, and whom it’s benefiting.

We talk with experts about the state of civic education — and bring you a 101 lesson about the tenets of civic life.

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