Students Don't Understand Government?!
The SF Chronicle reported today that less than half of US students tested had proficient knowledge of how our government works!
In fact, some of the statistics were as low as 22% proficiency rates!
This is so alarming, especially for a country whose Revolutionary War helped spark many other famous revolutions in the 1700s. How can we keep our country a bastion of democracy when our students, the future leaders of our nation, are struggling with the basic tenets of our government?
In fact, they do not even have to become presidents and senators to necessitate working knowledge of our government; they need to be well-informed to make good decisions when voting and even when making decisions about what type of eggs to buy (you vote with your wallet, too, right?).
We need to make sure that students understand the importance of what they are learning in government class, so that they will take it more seriously. It is not just a grade on a report card. Government class holds the keys to greater understanding, success, better participation, and even simply better livelihoods in the real world. How can students enact change in their nation if they do not know the different methods of enacting that change?
Furthermore, it's even more vital for K-12 students to gain a strong understanding of their government because when they reach college, they're not really going to be required to take classes about civics and government.
What if they completely forget what they were taught when they are beginning to gain more power as citizens (through being old enough to vote, making their own money that they can spend on supporting political organizations they are passionate about, etc)?