A Crisis In Civics Education

Our system of government depends on the consent of the governed, and on active, responsible citizenship. Yet the Department of Education’s own studies show:

  • Only one-third of Americans can name the three branches of government;
  • Eight in ten cannot name even two rights granted by the Declaration of Independence.
  • Worse yet, only one in five of our 8th graders scored proficient in civics and history.

We must take decisive action now. These same young people who know so little about American civics will soon be running our country.

We know there are many wonderful teachers of history and government in the United States. We know the recent educational emphasis on math and science has had a negative impact on the study of history, civics, and other subjects. Our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, for one, would have been dismayed. He clearly stated the teaching of history was critically important for the future health of our nation and its freedom.

We believe in the teachers in our schools. Our goal is to help them be even more effective and to support their work. Together, we educate the children who will lead our communities and nation into the future. Learn more about the Institute’s Civics Education Initiative, take the U.S. Citizenship Test, 100 questions all Americans should know, or watch educational civics videos aligned with each of the questions on the U.S. Citizenship Test.