In the New Hampshire Bar News, Dan Wise discusses the rising interest in civics education:
It was an unlikely chart-topper. On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2017, New Hampshire Public Radio launched a podcast called “Civics 101.” The locally produced program quickly drew a national audience, becoming the sixth-most downloaded podcast on iTunes in its first two weeks. Since then, the episodes have been downloaded 750,000 times.
This was just one of the recent signals of rising interest in civics education in New Hampshire as well as nationally. Several statewide organizations, including the NH Bar Association and the NH Bar Foundation, are especially focused on improving civics instruction in schools. The hope is that more civics and social studies instruction will better prepare students for participation as citizens.
In recent years, educators and some policymakers have lamented the decline in instructional time devoted to civics, social studies and history. Last year, the NH Legislature passed SB 57, which mandates a “competency assessment” for civics as a graduation requirement, joining 16 states that have made civics education a graduation requirement.
Five years ago, retired US Supreme Court Justice David Souter sounded the alarm at a rare public appearance in Concord, saying that he thought the most significant problem in American public life was “pervasive civic ignorance” of our government and constitution.
The full article is available here.