Alabama, California, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia have “exemplary” civics and U.S. history standards, concludes a new Fordham report, which looks at quality, completeness, rigor and clarity.
Another 10 states were “good” in both subjects, 15 were “mediocre” in at least one subject and 20 states were “inadequate” in both.
It’s possible to teach civics and history in a balanced way, write David Griffith and Chester E. Finn, Jr. And it’s important to build “shared allegiance to a common set of ideas and core principles that is grounded in a common understanding. . . . there is no such thing as ‘progressive civics’ or ‘conservative civics,’ because if you have to put an adjective in front of it, it isn’t really civics.”
Weak standards are broad and vague, the report notes.