Education Commission of the States and the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement periodically review state statute, administrative code, standards and curriculum to capture the status of civic learning across the United States. This December 2016 update comes as states prepare to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act and have innovative opportunities to provide students with a well-rounded education.
Some key findings from the update include:
- Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia address civic education in state statute.
- Every state requires students to complete coursework in civics or social studies in order to graduate. The amount of coursework varies by state.
- Thirty-seven states require students to demonstrate proficiency through assessment in civics or social studies.
- Seventeen states include civic learning in their accountability frameworks.
- Every state includes civic learning or social studies in its standards or curriculum. Twenty states provide curriculum support and forty-eight states include civic learning as a strand in their standards.
Click on the questions below for 50-state comparisons showing how all states approach specific civic education policies. Or, choose to view a specific state’s approach by going to the individual state profiles page.
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies High School Graduation Requirements
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Standards and Curriculum Frameworks
- State standards include civics or citizenship education
- Curriculum frameworks include civics or citizenship education
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Inclusion in Assessment and Accountability Systems
- State assessments include civics, citizenship education or social studies
- State accountability system includes civics, citizenship education or social studies
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Addressed in Other State Statutes or Administrative Code
- State statutes (laws) that address civics, citizenship education or social studies
- State administrative code addressed civics, citizenship education or social studies
- Companion Report: 50-State Comparison: Civic Education
- The Civics Education Initiative of 2015-2016
- Six Proven Practices for Effective Civic Learning
- State Civic Education Policy Framework: A guide for policymakers
- Different paths to a common goal: Preparing students for civic life
PUBLISHED: December 12, 2016
RESOURCE TYPE: 50-State Comparison