This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.
Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is still building on her long, distinguished career. If her latest endeavor is successful, the results will be manifest in the next generation, which will be government – as well as computer –literate.
Ms. O'Connor once was a state lawmaker in Arizona and knows that when it comes to school-curriculum decisions, the people to persuade are in the Legislature, not the education department. So lawmakers Tuesday were treated to a speech by Ms. O'Connor on the compelling reasons why civics should be in the core curriculum. She cited studies showing that more Americans can name the judges on American Idol than on the U.S. Supreme Court. "Today, civics, government and indeed American history are being pushed out of the classroom, and the results are as dismal as they are unsurprising," she said. One result? Three-fourths of Americans don't understand the different functions of judges and legislators.
Former governor Bob Graham also has pushed state lawmakers to give civics studies their due in Florida schools. State law requires middle schoolers to complete three social-studies courses. One semester must include state and federal governments and civics education. This hasn't changed for a generation.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.