Civics is Alive and Well in American High Schools

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Tom Edsall quotes some guy complaining that people are stupid these days because high schools don’t teach civics anymore. “The students don’t know about civics, they don’t know about our history, our government, our constitution. Politicians say they are going to give people things for free to get elected.” Atrios comments:

It’s certainly possible it’s true in some sense, in that there’s no course of study actually called “civics” but it’d be nice if Edsall provided some judgment about whether this guy is just mainlining Limbaugh or if he has an actual point.

Say what? No course of study called civics? I took senior-year civics from Mr. Avis back in 1976 because I had to if I wanted to graduate, and the California minimum course requirements continue to include “a one-semester course in American government and civics.” Ditto for Pennsylvania. Here’s a PDF describing the civics requirement in detail for all grades, including high school.

Looks to me like civics is alive and well, and continues to be called “civics.” So what’s the problem?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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