Civics knowledge slips among students
September is National Civic Awareness Month, and the Washington-based International City/County Management Association (ICMA) wants its members to address a problem revealed by a report last year that showed students at the nation’s elite universities lack basic civics knowledge. The September 2006 report by the University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy and the Wilmington, Del.-based Intercollegiate Studies Institute showed that most incoming college freshmen and seniors scored around 50 percent on an exam covering American history, politics and government.
In 2005, ICMA formed its 20-member Task Force on Civics Education to study civics education programs in 16 states that focus on educating children in kindergarten through 12th grade. The results of the task force’s study are available at http://www.icma.org/main/ns.asp?nsid=3315&hsid=1&ssid1=2505&ssid2=2506&ssid3=2506&scid=1.