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Letter to the editor

Civics Education in Montana and Adjoining States

 

February 28, 2020



From a 2018 national survey of 524 principals, assistant principals and other school based leaders it was found that only 33% of K-12 schools offer a stand alone civics course. Only 24% of school districts require passing a civics exam. The survey indicated a lack of priority in civics in rural and small town school districts, as well as no appreciable increase of interest in civics after the 2016 elections. The report from the Maryland nonprofit did not list school districts by state. The Education Commission of the States website clearly displays civic educational requirements of all states. Montana is unfortunately somewhat lacking when compared to the adjoining states. Only two units of high school Social Studies are required with no testing of Civics needed. Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Idaho also have high school Social Studies requirements, although with more specificity. Wyoming requires passing of a test on the US and Wyoming Constitution. Idaho and North Dakota require passing a test based upon the US citizens and immigration exam. Most good education is driven by good competent teaching. However, perhaps Montana should consider its civic education requirements for civics educational enhancement.

Erwin Curry

Missoula, Montana

 

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