This blog is for my friend the Social Studies teacher. Many times your the red-headed stepchild of the core content group, but if we can take anything from the current state of affairs, you are so important. You might be the last ones to get new standards, but you are going to be the first ones that kids actually use coming straight out of high school.
This isn't to say the others aren't important, but think of the first ways someone can participate in the greater society. It's things like registering to vote, registering for selective service, and getting into the federal student loans program. All of them are things that may need advocacy, and we have to teach our students to advocate and participate.
No matter what you believe with the current state of the US government the abundantly clear thing is that we need to do an even better job of teaching civics. The impeachment inquiry is s a perfect example of this. It's clear that many Americans don't fully understand that process, and that lack of understanding is helping both sides manipulate both the process and messaging with it.
We are constantly hearing a lot about the process. The thing to understand though is that the process right now is like a grand jury. It's about finding enough evidence to see if you can take it to trial, but because it's already being tried in the public conscious people think that things should look like a full trial. That's the not the way things are laid out in the constitution, yet many Americans don't realize that. It allows both sides to manipulate the message to benefit their point of view.
We hear the argument of fake news and bias all the time. In reality, it's there on both sides of the argument. The problem we are all having is that we aren't teaching civics well enough which makes it almost impossible for folks to decipher what is real and fake. We have to keep up that fight because in an age of endless media, knowing civics is the only thing that will let you know what is real and true.
We are getting to a point where teaching civics is going to be the only thing that saves us. The old saying ignorance is bliss does not apply here. If you don't know how things work you just can't decipher through the noise.
Civics Teachers: Keep up the fight! You don't know how important you are!