Forgive the clickbait headline, but I am deeply troubled by this article from IHE describing a task force recommendation that would reduce CSU system students’ requirements of taking history and government courses. Full disclosure, as a political scientist and department chair of a program where the state requires American Government of all students, I have a vested interest here. But something deeper is at work here. Groups like AASCU have implemented initiatives such as the American Democracy Project largely because they recognize the absence of civic leadership skills among our incoming students. As the K-12 system has reduced their commitment to civics education, so more remediative intervention has become incumbent on us in higher education. At a time that is pivotal for democracy, surely more civic education and not less is the appropriate path.
In a larger sense, I do worry about the state of democracy when we know basic knowledge of the republic and its operations is on the decline and we do not intervene to stop that decline.
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