Civic Education Policies: State Profile

Civic Education Policies: State Profile - Alabama

December 2016


Data are collected using publicly available state statute, administrative code and, in some cases, curriculum and standards frameworks. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.


Description Citation/Link
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies High School Graduation Requirements
Are there high school graduation requirement in civics or citizenship education? Four years (equivalent of four credit units) of social studies with an emphasis on history, music history, fine arts history, geography, economics, and political science. History courses shall include material on the history of the United States and the Constitution of the United States. The Legislature further requires that the curriculum content of American history shall include the teaching of important historical documents including the Constitution of the United States, The Declaration of Independence, The Emancipation Proclamation, The Federalist Papers, and other such documents important to the history and heritage of the United States."

Alabama High School Diploma: requires 4 credits in Social Studies, one credit per year. "All four required credits in Social Studies shall comply with the current Alabama Course of Study."

All Alabama high school students must earn four credits in social studies for graduation. As part of these requirements, students must complete United States History I (one credit), United States History From II (one credit), United States Government (one-half credit), and Economics (one-half credit). 
Ala. Code 1975 § 16-6B-2, AL ST § 16-6B-2

Ala. Admin. Code r. 290-3-1-.02, AL ADC 290-3-1-.02
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Standards and Curriculum Frameworks
State standards include civics or citizenship education The Alabama Social Studies Course of Study (grade-level standards) include a strand of standards for civics and government. The goal of the civics and government strand is to “enable students to become informed, responsible participants in political life and to function as competent citizens committed to the fundamental values and principles of the constitutional democracy that established the republic of the United States of America.” While the civics and government strand is embedded in each grade level, students in Grade 7 concentrate on the area of civics during the instructional year, and Grade 12 students focus on United States government.

Sample standards/benchmarks include: identifying rights and responsibilities of citizens within the family, classroom, school and community (Kindergarten), recognizing functions of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution (grade 3), describing individual and civic responsibilities of citizens of the United States and determining ways to participate in the political process (grade 7), and describing the process of local, state, and national elections, including the organization, role, and constituency of political parties (grade 12).
Alabama Course of Study (2010)

http://alex.state.al.us/staticfiles/2010_AL_Social_Studies_Course_of_Study.pdf
Curriculum frameworks include civics or citizenship education The Alabama Course of Study Curriculum Guide for Social Studies is based on the Alabama Social Studies Course of Study which includes a strand of standards for civics and government.

Sample  content examples in the curriculum guide include: describing rights and responsibilities of citizens of the Unites States (e.g. voting, freedom of speech, paying taxes) (2nd grade) and identifying individual and civic responsibilities in the community (e.g. respecting rights and properties of others, exhibiting good sportsmanship, participating in community projects) (7th grade).
Curriculum Guide to the Alabama Course of Study Social Studies Grades K-12 (2006)

http://alex.state.al.us/specialed/curriculum/cgsocialstudies.pdf
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Inclusion in Assessment and Accountability Systems
State assessments include civics, citizenship education or social studies Among the requirements for receiving an Alabama high school diploma is passing the social studies subject-area test of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam.
Ala. Admin. Code r. 290-4-2-.02
State accountability system includes civics, citizenship education or social studies N/A School grading systems: 16-6C-2
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Addressed in Other State Statutes or Administrative Code
State statutes (laws) that address civics, citizenship education or social studies Core curriculum requires four years of social studies with an emphasis (among others) on history, geography, economics, and political science. Instruction materials include a history of the United States and the United States Constitution as well as The Declaration of Independence, The Emancipation Proclamation, and The Federalist Papers. Code of Ala. § 16-6B-2
State administrative code addressed civics, citizenship education or social studies N/A

© 2021 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education. 700 Broadway #810, Denver, CO 80203-3442

To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please contact the Education Commission of the States’ Communications Department at 303.299.3636 or mzatynski@ecs.org.

Your Education Policy Team  www.ecs.org