Civics? In Public Schools? What a Concept!
Schools Offer Driver’s Ed, Why Not Voter’s Ed?
Barrington, RI: Barbara Holmes, Chair of Rhode Island’s Republican Conservative Caucus (RCC), spoke out today on the lack of formal training in Civics in public schools. «Somehow, over the last twenty years or so, the Ocean State’s public school industry has quietly stopped teaching our young adults about how their government operates.» She said in a prepared statement. In fact, an RCC survey of curricula of the 36 Rhode Island public school districts indicated a near total lack of treatment of this subject. «The Rhode Island Department of Ed (RIDE) does list ‘Grade Span Expectations‘ for all students under the general heading of Government.» Holmes noted. «But it is as one part of the Social Studies track and none of those expectations deal with the nuts and bolts of how the American Republic or even the State of Rhode Island’s three branch Government actually functions.»
This issue has become especially important to the RCC in light of current calls around the nation to enfranchise Sixteen Year Olds with full voting rights. «Before we extend the privileges of a Driver’s License to teens we train them, then examine them on rules of the road and their legal and social responsibilities behind the wheel.» Barbara Holmes continued. She went on to note that past generations of public high school students took formal academic classes in Government just so that they would be more qualified as citizens to exercise their upcoming right to vote. «An active, engaged, and knowledgeable electorate is an absolute requirement for the protection of a free society.» The RCC Chair asserted.
Naturalized citizens of the United States are required to pass a written test to prove their literacy on the topic of their new nation and its government. The objective of the US Congress in establishing this requirement was to insure that these new voters would be adequately prepared to exercise that right. The RCC contends that adequate preparation for the responsibilities of citizenship is no less important for natural US Citizens. This position is even more important now that serious consideration is being given to lowering the age for voting. «The Caucus strongly urges RIDE and each of the local School Districts to immediately consider re-establishing the academic study of How Government Works!» Holmes stipulated in closing her formal statement.
The Republican Conservative Caucus is an arm of the Rhode Island Republican Party. The RCC concerns itself with identifying, recruiting, and supporting State Legislative Candidates and with speaking out on issues which threaten individual choice by imposing collective requirements. Learn more on Facebook at RI Republican Conservative Caucus.
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