Graduation Speech : Mandatory Civics Education

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Mandatory Civics Education

Today, only eight states require that civics be taught at all. In 2013, the National Assessment of Education Progress suspended the civics portion of its exam, after reporting years of dismal student scores (Campaign For The Civic Mission of School). Civics wasn’t always so widely disregarded; past education pioneers, from the “settlement house” leaders in the late 1800s to John Dewey in the 20th century, believed the main goal of school was to prepare the next generation of citizens to actively engage in the participation of democracy (Lander, 2015). Now more than ever the active role of citizenship is needed and many believe it is lacking more.
Background Information According to the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, two-thirds of Americans cannot name all three branches of government, but three in four people can name all of the Three Stooges; less than half can name a single Supreme Court justice, but more than 80 percent know that Michael Jackson sang "Beat It" and "Billie Jean (Ellis, 2012, p. 1)." This is far from preparing for the future citizens participate in democracy. Recognizing that individuals do not become responsible participating citizens on their own. The earlier founders of our universal public education system created the mission of public education to the preparation of citizenship. (Campaign For The Civic Mission of School). This determination to educate young Americans about their rights, duties and
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