Civic Education Policies: State Profile

Civic Education Policies: State Profile - New Jersey

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? At least 15 credits in social studies are required, including a two-year course of study in the history of the United States and the state of New Jersey, "five credits in world history; and the integration of civics, economics, geography and global content in all course offerings" (N.J.A.C. 6a:8-5.1)

A 2-year course of study in history is mandated for all students. "The superintendent of schools in each school district shall prepare and recommend to the board of education of the district, and the board of education shall adopt a suitable two-year course of study in the history of the United States, including the history of New Jersey, to be given to each student during the last four years of high school. Said course of study shall include materials recommended by the commissioner dealing with the history of the Negro in America." 
N.J.A.C. 6a:8-5.1, N.J. Stat. § 18A:35-1
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Standards and Curriculum Frameworks
State standards include civics or citizenship education The New Jersey Learning Standards for Social Studies (grade-cluster standards) include a strand of standards for Civics, Government, and Human Rights. Civics content is also embedded in other strands and is organized under the “Active Citizen in the 21st Century” standard, which states that “all students will acquire the skills needed to be active, informed citizens who value diversity and promote cultural understanding by working collaboratively to address the challenges that are inherent in living in an interconnected world.” The vision of the standards is to provide “learners with knowledge, skills, and perspectives needed to become active, informed citizens and contributing members of local, state, national and global communities in the digital age.”

Sample standards/benchmarks include: understanding that the United States democratic system requires active participation if its citizens and explaining the process of creating change at the local, state or national level (by the end of grade 4), deliberating on a public issue affecting an upcoming election, considering opposing arguments, and developing a reasoned conclusion (by the end of grade 8), and developing a plan for public accountability and transparency in government related to a particular issue(s) and sharing the plan with appropriate government officials (by the end of grade 12).
New Jersey Learning Standards for Social Studies (2014)

http://www.state.nj.us/education/cccs/2014/ss/standards.pdf
Curriculum frameworks include civics or citizenship education The Social Studies Model Curriculum is based on the New Jersey Learning Standards for Social Studies. Student Learning Objectives, which reflect the expectations of the social studies indicators and provide clear targets to assist in the daily planning of lessons and the development of curriculum units, are provided for the following three high school courses: US History I, US History II, and World History. Additional Student Learning Objectives will be provided for other grades and courses as the Department moves forward with the Model Curriculum Project. Model Curriculum - Social Studies

http://www.state.nj.us/education/modelcurriculum/ss/
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Inclusion in Assessment and Accountability Systems
State assessments include civics, citizenship education or social studies N/A 18A:7C-1
State accountability system includes civics, citizenship education or social studies N/A 18A:7A-10 New Jersey Single Accountability Continuum
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Addressed in Other State Statutes or Administrative Code
State statutes (laws) that address civics, citizenship education or social studies A 2-year course of study in history is mandated for all students. "Such course of study shall include instruction in (1) The principles and ideals of the American form of representative government as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States and particularly in the Bill of Rights; and (2) The history of the origin and growth of the social, economic and cultural development of the United States, of American family life and of the high standard of living and other privileges enjoyed by the citizens of the United States; and (3) Such other events in the history of the United States as will tend to instill, into every girl and boy, a determination to preserve these principles and ideals as those of citizens of the United States and an appreciation of their solemn duty and obligation to exercise the privilege of the ballot, upon their reaching voting age, to the end that said principles and ideals may be so preserved; and (4) The history of the State of New Jersey."

Local school boards shall provide a voter registration form, a summary of eligibility requirements, and material describing the role of the citizen and the importance of voting prior to graduation.

"Regular courses of instruction in the Constitution of the United States shall be given in all public schools and in all private schools ..."

Local school boards must "adopt a course of study in community civics, the geography, history and civics of New Jersey, and the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship as they relate to community and national welfare, which course shall be taken by all pupils in the public elementary schools in the grade or grades in which it is given, with the object of producing the highest type of patriotic citizenship."

"The State Department of Education shall prepare curriculum guidelines for the teaching of civics which may be used by local school boards in fulfilling the requirements" of the 2-year course of study in history mandated for all students in
N.J. Stat. § 18A:35- 2, N.J. Stat. §18A:36-27, N.J. Stat. § 18A:6-3, N.J. Stat. § 18A:35-3, N.J.S. 18A:35-1
State administrative code addressed civics, citizenship education or social studies N/A

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