Civic Education Policies: State Profile

Civic Education Policies: State Profile - Massachusetts

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? Section 2. In all public elementary and high schools American history and civics, including the constitution of the United States, the declaration of independence and the bill of rights, and in all public high schools the constitution of the commonwealth and local history and government and a program relating to the flag of the United States of America, including, but not limited to, proper etiquette, the correct use and display of the flag, the importance of participation in the electoral process and the provisions of 36 U.S.C. 170 to 177, inclusive, shall be taught as required subjects for the purpose of promoting civic service and a greater knowledge thereof, and of fitting the pupils, morally and intellectually, for the duties of citizenship.
G.L. c. 71, § 2
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Standards and Curriculum Frameworks
State standards include civics or citizenship education The Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework provides grade-level standards for K-7, and grade-cluster and course-specific standards for 8-12. The Framework provides required “Concepts and Skills” in Civics and Government for grades K-7 separately, and for grades 8-12 as a cluster. Civics standards are integrated throughout the framework and are included in the American Government and U.S. History courses offered to high school students. According to the framework, “devotion to human dignity and freedom, equal rights, justice, the rule of law, civility and truth, tolerance of diversity, mutual assistance, personal and civic responsibility, self-restraint and self-respect–all these must be taught and learned and practiced.”

Sample standards/benchmarks include: explaining how American citizens were expected to participate in, monitor, and bring about changes in their government over time, and give examples of how they continue to do so today (grade 5) and explaining the rights and the responsibilities of citizenship and describing how a democracy provides opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process through elections, political parties, and interest groups (high school, U.S. History I).
Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework (2003)

http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/hss/final.pdf
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 Social science and history are included in the areas of student achievement that are to be assessed. M.G.L.A. 69 § 1I
State accountability system includes civics, citizenship education or social studies Assessments in history and social science, among other subjects, are one of the gauges used to evaluate the performance of both public school districts and individual schools. M.G.L.A. 69 §
1I
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Addressed in Other State Statutes or Administrative Code
State statutes (laws) that address civics, citizenship education or social studies The Department of Education is charged with the responsibility for leadership toward "more effective preparation for the duties of American citizenship." This section also directs the board of education to appoint a director to carry out the purposes of the section.

"In all public elementary and high schools American history and civics, including the constitution of the United States, the declaration of independence and the bill of rights, and in all public high schools the constitution of the commonwealth and local history and government,and a program relating to the flag of the United States of America, including, but not limited to, proper etiquette, the correct use and display of the flag, the importance of participation in the electoral process and the provisions of 36 U.S.C. 170 to 177, shall be taught as required subjects for the purpose of promoting civic service and a greater knowledge thereof, and of fitting the pupils, morally and intellectually, for the duties of citizenship."
Ma. Gen. Laws ch.69, §10A, Ma. Gen. Laws ch. 71 §2
State administrative code addressed civics, citizenship education or social studies N/A

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