New law makes civics proficiency a requirement for public school graduates

 

STATE HOUSE – Civics proficiency will be a requirement for all Rhode Island public high school graduates under a new law that was sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo and Rep. Brian C. Newberry.

The legislation (2021-S 0076Aaa, 2021-H 5028Aaa), which has been passed by the General Assembly and signed into law, is aimed at ensuring that all students understand the principles of democracy, how their government works, and the rights and duties of actively engaged citizenship.

“Solid civics education in public schools is absolutely critical to having an informed public,” said Senator Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick), who is vice chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, serves on the Joint Commission on Civics Education, and was the sponsor of the 2005 law that led to the development of a statewide civics curriculum and standards for grades K through 12. “Students are the next generation of voters. They need and deserve to graduate with a healthy knowledge of how they can create the changes they want to see in their community, their state and their country.”

The new law requires that all high school students attending public school demonstrate proficiency in civics, commencing with the graduating class of 2023. The law does not necessarily require that students take a separate civics course or civics exam, instead allowing individual school districts to determine how their students can demonstrate proficiency. Many aspects of civics are already integrated into other subjects’ curricula.

The legislation also requires that students complete at least one student-led civics project in middle or high school. The project could be individual, group or class-wide, and would be designed to promote the student’s ability to reason, make logical arguments and support claims using valid evidence; and demonstrate an understanding of the connections between federal, state and local policies, including issues that may impact the student’s community.

“A thorough grounding in civics should be a cornerstone of every education consisting of two parts,” said Representative Newberry (D-Dist. 48, North Smithfield, Burrillville). “First it should contain a deep understanding of the foundation of our nation’s government systems and structures, with neither their imperfections whitewashed nor their subtlety, genius and keen reflections of the limitations and foibles of human nature downplayed or diminished. Second, it should contain practical instruction in how government at all levels works, the interplay between those levels, the limitations on power and constructive ways in which to effect change in public policy.”

 

-30-

 

 

Wednesday's search efforts to find Brian Laundrie are over. Florida's North Port Police tweeted "Nothing found. We will be back out Thursday, similar operation." Divers had been called in to the search for the fiance of Gabby Petito after her death was ruled a homicide.        Certain groups can now get a Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 booster shot. The FDA granted emergency use authorization for those 65 years of age or older. The authorization also applies to adults who are at a high risk of symptoms, and adults who are frequently exposed at their jobs.        California's Governor is signing two laws to protect abortion privacy. Governor Gavin Newsom put his signature on Assembly Bill 1184 which makes it so sensitive medical information is only provided to the patient and no one else on the health care plan. Newsom also signed A-B 1356 which makes it illegal to post photos, videos or personal information online of anyone at reproductive health facilities including doctors, patients, and volunteers.        Oscar award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey is still not ruling out a run for political office. Speaking on an episode of the Set? ?it? ?Straight:? ?Myths? ?and? ?Legends podcast, McConaughey said he's "measuring it." He said he is more of a "philosopher-poet statesman" than a "definitive politician."        If you want your child rolling around like James Bond, you'll have to break the piggy bank wide open. The Little Car Company is making 125 DB5-Juniors, which are about two-thirds the size of the car you see in the movies. The price tag though is set at 123-thousand dollars.