General Assembly passes Civic Literacy Proficiency Requirement in Rhode Island schools bill cosponsored by Rep. Amore
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly today passed legislation cosponsored by Rep. Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) which requires students to demonstrate proficiency in civics education before high school graduation.
Representative Amore was a history teacher for 31 years at East Providence High School. The bipartisan bill (2021-H 5028Aaa) was introduced by Rep. Brian C. Newberry (R-Dist. 48, North Smithfield, Burrillville).
“As we watch our country suffer from division, distrust, and disinformation from all directions, it is vital to the health of our democratic republic that the future generations of our country know and understand how our government functions and how our current society came to be from its inception in 1776,” said Representative Amore. “Without this critical knowledge, we are doing a great disservice to our students and hampering their abilities to be engaged and well informed citizens during their adult lives. In order for a better world to be created by future generations, our students need to know why change is needed and how to advocate for change. This is only possible through civics education.”
Representative Amore also notes the integral contributions to the legislation from Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) who was the sponsor of the legislation (2021-S 0076A) in the Senate. She serves on the Joint Commission on Civics Education and was also the sponsor of the 2005 law that led to the development of a statewide civics curriculum and standards for grades K through 12.
All middle and high school students attending public schools, or any other schools managed and controlled by the state, will have to demonstrate proficiency in civics education that will also satisfy half credit or course requirement in history and social studies.
Each public school district will have to provide not less than one student-led civics project for students during either middle or high school. Civics projects may be individual, small group or class wide, and designed to promote a student's ability to reason, make logical arguments and support claims using valid evidence and to demonstrate an understanding of the connections between federal, state and local policies, including issues that may impact the student’s community.
The Department of Education shall begin implementing the legislation for the 2022-2023 academic year.
The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.
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