Civic Education Policies: State Profile

Civic Education Policies: State Profile - California

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? 3 courses in social studies, including United States history and geography; world history, culture, and geography; a one-semester course in American government and civics; and a one-semester course in economics. Cal Ed Code §51225.3.a.D
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Standards and Curriculum Frameworks
State standards include civics or citizenship education The History-Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (grade-level standards) “emphasize historical narrative, highlight the roles of significant individuals throughout history, and convey the rights and obligations of citizenship.” In kindergarten through grade 3, students are introduced to the basic concepts of civics. Beginning in grade 4, the disciplines are woven together within the standards at each grade. “Students in grade twelve pursue a deeper understanding of the institutions of American government... The [12th grade] standards represent the culmination of civic literacy as students prepare to vote, participate in community activities, and assume the responsibilities of citizenship.

Sample standards/benchmarks include: understanding that being a good citizen involves acting in certain ways (Kindergarten), understanding the foundation of the American political system and the ways in which citizens participate in it (grade 8), evaluate and take and defend positions on the scope and limits of rights and obligations as democratic citizens, the relationships among them, and how they are secured (grade 12).
History-Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (1998)

http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/histsocscistnd.pdf
Curriculum frameworks include civics or citizenship education The California History-Social Science Framework is based on the California History-Social Science Content Standards. According to the Framework, “preparing students for informed, skilled, and engaged participation in civic life is a key goal of social studies education and is addressed throughout the California History/Social Science Framework and Standards.” California’s students are expected to “learn about this nation’s founding principles of freedom and democracy, and of America’s ongoing struggles, setbacks, and achievements in realizing those principles. They consider the fight for political and social equality and efforts to achieve both economic growth and justice.” Among other things, students in grade 12: “explore the meaning of liberty and equality by considering the actions Americans have taken to organize in support of and opposition to government policies”, “study the recurrent theme of citizenship and voting by analyzing how these rights and privileges have been contested and reshaped over time” and “examine the many contributions of Americans seeking to define the meaning of citizenship across the country.” The framework provides opportunities for student participation in school and community service programs and activities and also includes an appendix on service-learning.

Sample content examples in the framework include:
focusing on developing and understanding citizenship, civic engagement, the basic structure of government, and the lives of famous national and local Americans who took risks to secure freedoms (3rd grade) and learning about the responsibilities they have or will soon have as voting members of an informed electorate (12th grade).
California History-Social Science Framework (2016)

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/cf/sbedrafthssfw.asp
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Inclusion in Assessment and Accountability Systems
State assessments include civics, citizenship education or social studies The standards-based achievement tests include assessments in history/social science. 60642.5
State accountability system includes civics, citizenship education or social studies History-Social Science assessment results from the are included in the School Accountability Report Card. CA Ed. Code 33126
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Addressed in Other State Statutes or Administrative Code
State statutes (laws) that address civics, citizenship education or social studies Social Studies is included in the adopted course of study for grades 1-6 and in the adopted course of study for grades 7-12. Studies are to draw from social science disciplines and provide a foundation for understanding the history, resources, development, and government of the State of California and the United States.

Cal Ed Code § 33540 requires the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission to revise history-social science course requirements "to ensure that minimum standards for courses in American government and civics include sufficient attention to teaching pupils how to interact, in a practical manner, with state and local governmental agencies and representatives to solve problems and to petition for changes in laws and procedures."

Social science, history and civics textbooks adopted by the state must include, when appropriate, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Instruction in the area of social sciences may include instruction on World War II and the American role in that war, as well as the Korean War and Vietnam War. "The Legislature encourages that this instruction include, but not be limited to, a component drawn from personal testimony, especially in the form of oral or video history."

Citizenship education is among possible topics to be addressed at regional conferences for educators, community-based organizations, law enforcement agencies, etc. to identify exemplary programs and techniques that have been effectively utilized to reduce school crime.
Cal Ed Code Div. 4 Part 28, Chap. 2 § 51210, Cal Ed Code Div. 4 Part 28 § 51221.3, Cal Ed Code Div. 4 Part 28 Chap. 2 § 51220, Cal Ed Code Div. 2 Part 20 Chap. 4 § 33540, Cal Ed Code Div. 1 Part 19 Chap. 2.5 § 32265, Cal Ed Code Div. 4 Part 33 Chap. 1 § 60043
State administrative code addressed civics, citizenship education or social studies Subjects that may be added as supplementary authorizations to a valid teaching credential include U.S. government and U.S. civics.

Subjects that may be added as specific subject matter authorizations to a valid teaching credential include Civics/Government.
5 CA ADC § 80089.1, 5 CA ADC § 80089.4,

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