With a large number of Americans failing to make the grade when it comes to general knowledge about the federal government, Florida education officials are stepping up to the plate to remedy the situation.
Beginning next school year, the state intends to make passing an end-of-year civics exam a critical part of the grading process in middle school. Students already take civics classes in the seventh grade, but starting in the 2013-14 school year, they’ll have to pass the exam to be promoted, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The test will count as 30 percent of a student’s civics grade.
Florida made at least one semester of civics mandatory in 2010.
Both moves have come on the heels of national surveys that showed a high percentage of American citizens couldn’t name the three branches of government, a Supreme Court justice or even basic information about the Constitution. In 2010, for example, Newsweek gave 1,000 Americans the U.S. citizenship test. A total of 38 percent failed.
Other statistics quoted by the Times are more alarming. Read the full article for details.
How important do you think civics classes are? Should the state make passing mandatory for promotion? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.