Civic Education: New Graduation Requirement
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If you have further questions
about Social Studies education, contact:

Carol Coe, Social Studies
Program Supervisor
carol.coe@k12.wa.us
(360) 725-6351

 

Social Studies

Civic Education Initiative: Requirements and Resources

What is the Civic Education Initiative?
OSPI is working to ensure that all social studies teachers are provided with high-caliber professional development and instructional resources to develop effective lessons and study units in order to support new state civic credit/graduation requirements. We are calling this the Civic Education Initiative.

Washington state law requires an increase in social studies credits required for high school graduation from 2.5 credits to 3.0 credits, with 0.5 credit required in civics. This additional 0.5 civic requirement applies to all students in the graduating class of 2016 and beyond.

What are civic education laws and regulations in Washington state?
The primary laws and regulations for civic education are:

See the complete list of social studies laws and regulations.

What is the new civic requirement?
The content of the civic credit must include, but not be limited to:

  • Federal, state and local government organization and procedures;
  • Rights and responsibilities of citizens addressed in the Washington state and United States Constitutions;
  • Current issues addressed at each level of government; and
  • Electoral issues, including elections, ballot measures, initiatives, and referenda.

What are ways for Washington teachers to provide strong civic instruction?
According to Guardian of Democracy: Successor Report to the Civic Mission of Schools, there are six proven practices for enhancing civic education:

  1. Classroom instruction
  2. Discussion of current events and controversial issues
  3. Service learning
  4. Extracurricular activities
  5. School governance
  6. Simulations of democratic processes

Learn more about the six proven practices:

“Abundant research shows that civic literacy is just as critical to student success as literacy in math and English. And civic supports district work in many areas, like anti-bullying, the new arts initiative and the new Common Core education standards.”

What are ways for civics to be assessed?

What are the civic observances in Washington state?
There are four civic observances:

  • Constitution Day and Citizenship Day — September 17
  • Veterans Day — November 11
  • Temperance and Good Citizenship Day — January 16
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — Third Monday in January

Resources

Civics Education Poster

 
 

Learn more about Washington’s annual civic observances.

 

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  (360) 725-6000  TTY (360) 664-3631
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