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An Interview With Rick Hess: Civics, Citizenship and Education

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Michael F. Shaughnessy of EducationNews.org interviewed AEI’s Rick Hess about our new teacher survey. An excerpt:

MS: So do American kids in high school know what it means to be a “citizen”? How confident are teachers that students are learning what they need to know?

RH: Previous studies and the most recent NAEP data will show that high schoolers have a pretty limited civic knowledge. And this is right in line with our findings. Our teachers report to be pretty unsure that our students are learning. Regarding key concepts of citizenship, no more than 24 percent of public school teachers express great confidence that most of the students from their high school have actually learned these concepts before they graduate.

For example, only 24 percent of teachers are “very confident” that most students can identify the protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and only 6 percent are “very confident” that students graduate with good work habits.

As they say, be sure to read the whole thing.