This essay, written by former U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt of Washington state, appeared in The Hill on June 14, 2019.
By George Nethercutt
Education is often at the top of the list of national priorities, especially for American presidential candidates. The U.S. should therefore make civics education a priority.
Civics education encompasses the study of U.S. history, government, economics and foreign policy. It can include other basic topics as well, but civic learning has been largely absent from educational discussions for years, though it’s now staging a “comeback.” …
Too many Americans do not really understand how America came to be — only 26 percent of in a recent national poll could name the three branches of government, let alone what they do. Nor can most Americans understand how to navigate the federal government.
Almost ten years ago, Newsweek gave the citizenship test to 1,000 Americans — the results were humiliating. Things have not gotten better. A similar survey conducted by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation last fall found nearly two-thirds of Americans flunk the test.
The fact is you can’t Google good citizenship. …
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