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What Is the Future of Civics Education?

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The school year has ended and Year Two of teaching/learning through a pandemic has closed. For most teachers, summer presents an opportunity to relax, try to unwind after a stressful 18 months, and just let the dust settle.

That’s at the most local level — the school itself. Principals rarely get to leave during the summer, as closing down one year really just means opening up another, but while some teachers take time off, some do focus on the upcoming year. Those teachers (me included) are just nerds like that. In Louisiana, the state education department is working with local school districts, and it appears there are some shifts being made in how social studies across all levels are being taught.

A major shift will reportedly be in the focal point of high school social studies. Districts are preparing to re-emphasize civics education, seemingly per statewide guidance.

At the moment in Louisiana, U.S. History is the only high school course with an end-of-course exam (our state uses the LEAP 2025 test). What we’re hearing is that test will go away and instead a LEAP test for Civics will take its place. That does not mean that U.S. History is any less important, but it does mean that the state feels the key ideas and content that covers basic citizenship and knowledge of the U.S. government is required knowledge going forward.

That is good news, ultimately, and it signals that Louisiana is joining a trend that is growing and desperately needed in the United States. Far too often, journalists and so-called experts are getting the basic facts about how our government operates completely and totally wrong. These growing trends in demanding we nuke the filibuster for good, the obliteration of the Electoral College, and that Washington D.C. be granted statehood all stem from a fundamental lack of understanding of how and why the system was set up the way it was, and why it’s worked since the Constitution was adopted.

High school U.S. History typically starts in the post-Reconstruction era (unless a student takes AP U.S. History, which covers pre-Columbian

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