With President Joe Biden calling his political opponents a “threat to democracy” and Republicans questioning the integrity of the basic democratic system, one prominent American jurist believes he has a solution. I believe you may have.

citizen class.

Douglas Ginsburg, former Chief Justice of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, said, “The Autonomous Democratic Republic cannot survive from generation to generation with an ignorant mass.” It’s a formula that falls into some sort of authoritarian regime that you rely on to give you things.”

Ginsburg is perhaps best known for nearly becoming Reagan’s presidential nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court until he withdrew his name from consideration after a national controversy over past marijuana use decades ago. I’m here.

One state that shares this concern about civic education is New Hampshire. Last year, Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law a graduation requirement that all high school seniors in the state pass the national civics exam given to new Americans, and school districts are preparing for the class of 2023. It should be ready by his July of next year before it goes into effect.

Meanwhile, the New Hampshire Board of Education has adopted a 16-week civics course based on the Civics Fundamentals program launched by Ginsburg in September 2021. according to the website. Use the 100-question U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Exam as a starting point for your education about how American democracy is designed to work.

According to a 2018 report from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, about two-thirds of Americans would not pass a citizenship test if they had to. A 2016 survey found that one in four Americans could not name three branches of government.

For each of the 100 questions, Ginsburg hosts a short video (under 3 minutes) to further explain the correct answer. According to Ginsberg, the video includes not only Talking His Head, but also archived footage, reenactments, and animation.

“Students tend to absorb material from video presentations more than reading, but for better or worse, they’re there, and I want to find them,” says Ginsburg.

1,800 users have completed the course so far.

Ginsburg’s timing is perfect. State governments have also expressed concern that high school graduates are learning little about the democratic process.

In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed three bills that focus on how citizens should be taught in public schools and colleges. One of his bills requires senior high school seniors to undergo a civics evaluation before graduating.

The South Dakota Department of Education has released a proposed set of social studies learning standards for kindergarten through 12th grade. One of the new standards aims to ensure that students have “sound skills to understand their past, understand their neighbors, earn a living and fulfill their potential.” Citizenship rights and responsibilities carefully. ”

According to Rebecca Winthrop of the Brookings Institution, America’s education system was built on the idea that schools play a central role in preparing young Americans for civic engagement. Educational initiatives inspired by the 1957 “Sputnik Moment” and the promotion of STEM through President George W. Bush’s No Left Child Act have placed a strong emphasis on math and science.

Civics education proficiency has not improved in America since 1998, with less than 25% of students nationwide testing proficient, reports the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

When the Dobbs v. Jackson Opinion — a landmark case that found there was no constitutional right to abortion — leaked in early May, protesters rallied at the home of a conservative U.S. Supreme Court justice. gathered outside the

Ginsburg said the spectacle was outrageous and completely inconsistent with our American principles.

“People treat the courts, especially the Supreme Court, like the legislature,” Ginsberg said. “They are meant to be independent of public opinion and dependent on the constitution. This is a striking sign that we have seen over the past few years, and things are getting worse and worse as people become more and more ignorant.”

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