Civic Education Policies: State Profile

Civic Education Policies: State Profile - Louisiana

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 units of social studies, including 0.5 unit of civics.

(2)(a) Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year:
(i) The curriculum for Civics, and courses permitted to substitute for Civics, shall contain a unit of study that includes civics-related subject matter of which naturalized citizens are required to demonstrate a knowledge.
(ii) As a means to inform civics-related curricula and instruction, each student enrolled in Civics, or a course permitted to substitute for Civics, shall be administered a test based upon the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to survey his knowledge of the fundamentals of the history, principles, and form of the United States government.
(b) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Subsection.

Graduation Exit Examination (GEE 21) includes assessment of social studies skills.
La. R.S. 17:274.1, LAC 28:CXI.1301
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Standards and Curriculum Frameworks
State standards include civics or citizenship education Louisiana’s Social Studies Grade-Level Expectations (grade-level standards for K-8, course-specific standards for high school) include a strand of standards for Civics in grades K-8. The high school civics course includes the following standards: 1. Foundations of American Government, 2. Structure and Purposes of Government, 3. Functions of Government, 4. Role of the Citizen in American Democracy, among others.

Sample standards/benchmarks include: learning about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, explaining how people must work together to resolve conflict, and understanding the importance of respecting differences (grade 2), examining the role of citizen in government (grade 5), and examining how citizens can participate responsibly and effectively in American civic and political life (high school civics).
Social Studies Grade-Level Expectations (2011)
Curriculum frameworks include civics or citizenship education N/A
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Inclusion in Assessment and Accountability Systems
State assessments include civics, citizenship education or social studies Given at grade 11, the Graduation Exit Examination is defined as "criterion-referenced tests in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies assess student performance relative to specific benchmarks established in the state's content standards and provide data for evaluating student, school, and district performance. These high-stakes tests require high school students to meet established achievement levels to be eligible to receive a high school diploma."

The Louisiana Educational Assessment Program for the 21st Century (LEAP 21) assesses social studies skills at grades 4 and 8, based on the standards.

Standards-based assessments in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies based on state content standards and rigorous student achievement standards shall be implemented by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Such tests shall be administered, at a minimum, in grades three through eleven.
GEE 21
LAC 28:CXI.107
La. R.S. 17:24.4
State accountability system includes civics, citizenship education or social studies Schools and districts receive a school/district performance score calculated using assessment results, which include social studies, as well as attendance and dropout rates. LSA-R.S.17:10.1(School/District Accountability)

LSA-R.S. 17:391.3 (Educational Accountability)
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Addressed in Other State Statutes or Administrative Code
State statutes (laws) that address civics, citizenship education or social studies Regular courses of study on the Constitution of the United States shall be given, beginning with the eighth grade and continuing thereafter, in all the public schools, high schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions supported wholly or in part with the public funds of the state or of any political subdivision thereof."

High schools are required to offer a "career major" program for students who are not immediately college bound. Requirements include at least two social studies credits including one credit in U.S. History, AP U.S. History, or IB U.S. History and one credit in Civics, Government, AP U.S. Government and Politics: Comparative, or AP U.S. Government and Politics: United States.

Requirements from which charter schools are not exempted include the teaching of civics, the U.S. constitution, the Federalist Papers and the Declaration of Independence.

The Louisiana Commission on Civic Education is established. The commission's duties include developing outreach programs on the importance of understanding specific principles of democracy; identifying and providing technical assistance to civic education projects in Louisiana; building a network of civic education professionals and encouraging the expansion of civic education programs in the state.
La. R.S. 17:261, La.R.S. 17:183.3(B)(2)(d), La. R.S. 17:3996(B)(12) & (14), La. R.S. 24:971 - 974, La. R.S. 17:183.3
State administrative code addressed civics, citizenship education or social studies Describes content standards and benchmarks for social studies, and specifically civics, history and economics. Provides a curriculum framework for local curriculum development.

Among the key concepts taught in this curriculum is citizenship, which is described as “the application of the understanding of the ideals, rights, and responsibilities of active participation in a democratic republic that includes working respectfully and productively together for the benefit of the individual and the community; being accountable for one's choices and actions and understanding their impact on oneself and others; knowing one's civil, constitutional, and statutory rights; and mentoring others to be productive citizens and lifelong learners.”
LAC 28:CXXI.101-1301

© 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

Your Education Policy Team