Davenport: The Civic Education Crisis

“Hamilton” is the hottest show on Broadway but its star character, Alexander Hamilton, barely gets a hearing in today’s student classrooms.

Civic education is the crisis you don’t hear about.  In the last testing, only 18 percent of 8th graders were “proficient” or better in history and only 23 percent in civics or government.  A poll last year showed that 77 percent of millennials could not name one of their U.S. senators.  A 2012 survey concluded that only one-third of Americans could pass the civics portion of the U.S. citizenship test while the immigrant pass rate is 97 percent.

Other crises are getting all the attention and money.  And teachers themselves do not know history—a report in January said that 82 percent of colleges do not require even one course in civics or history.

As Carly Fiorina, the only presidential candidate talking about this put it:  “We are no longer educating our citizens.”  We must do better.

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