Civic Education Policies: State Profile

Civic Education Policies: State Profile - Utah

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? Social Studies (3.0 units of credit) shall be met minimally through successful completion of:(a) 2.5 units of credit from the following courses:Geography for Life (0.5 units of credit); World Civilizations (0.5 units of credit);U.S. History (1.0 units of credit, and U.S. Government and Citizenship (0.5 units of credit);Social Studies (0.5 units of credit per LEA discretion); and a basic civics test or alternate assessment.

An LEA shall:(a) administer a basic civics test in accordance with the requirements of Section 53A-13-109.5; and (b) require a student to pass the basic civics test as a condition of receiving: (i) a high school diploma; or (ii) an adult education secondary diploma

Effective for graduating students beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, requirements include 2.5 units of credit in social studies: Geography for Life (0.5 credit), World Civilizations (0.5 credit), U.S. History (1.0 credit), U.S. Government and Citizenship (0.5 credit).
U.A.C. R277-700-7,
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Standards and Curriculum Frameworks
State standards include civics or citizenship education Utah’s Core Standards for Social Studies (grade-level standards for K-6, course-specific standards for 7-12) includes a strand of standards for Citizenship in grades K-2. Civics content is embedded in the social studies content in later primary grades and is also embedded in the “United States Government and Citizenship” high school course. The goal of the United States Government and Citizenship course is to “foster informed, responsible participation in public life. Knowing how to be a good citizen is essential to the preservation and improvement of United States democracy. Upon completion of this course the student will understand the major ideas, protections, privileges, structures, and economic systems that affect the life of a citizen in the United States political system. This course is recommended for seniors due to their proximity to voting age.”

Sample standards/benchmarks include: recognizing the roles and responsibilities of being a good citizen by investigating and explaining how symbols and songs unite families and classmates(kindergarten), understanding the roles of civic life, politics, and government in the lives of Utah citizens by describing the responsibilities and rights of individuals in a representative government as well as in the school and community (fourth grade), and understanding the significance and impact of the Constitution on everyday life (high school, United States Government and Citizenship course).
Utah Core Standards for Social Studies (2010)
Curriculum frameworks include civics or citizenship education N/A. However, Utah provides sample lesson plans and resources that are tied to the standards and objectives in Utah’s Core Standards for Social Studies.

Social Studies Core
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Inclusion in Assessment and Accountability Systems
State assessments include civics, citizenship education or social studies State law requires any student must pass a basic civics test in order to graduate from high school. Test must include 50 of 100 questions drawn from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services exam. Utah Rev. Stat. s. 53A-13-109.5
State accountability system includes civics, citizenship education or social studies N/A Utah Code Ann. 53A-1104
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 Legislature recognizes that a proper understanding of American history and government is essential to good citizenship, and that the public schools are the primary public institutions charged with responsibility for assisting children and youth in gaining that understanding." Required curricula includes the study of historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence; the U.S. Constitution; the writings, speeches, documents, and proclamations of the Founders and the Presidents of the United States; Acts of Congress; and U.S. treaties.

Civic education is defined as "the cultivation of informed, responsible participation in political life by competent citizens committed to the fundamental values and principles of representative democracy in Utah and the United States." Provides legislative recognition of the fundamental civic purpose and constitutional responsibility of public education, requires civics and character education to be taught through an integrated curriculum in connection with regular school work, and consolidates requirements for the teaching of civic and character education. Listed as part of an integrated curriculum are honesty, temperance, morality, courtesy, obedience to law, respect for and an understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and the state of Utah, Utah history including territorial and preterritorial development to the present, the essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for parents and home, and the dignity and necessity of honest labor and other skills, habits, and qualities of character which will promote an upright and desirable citizenry and better prepare students for a richer, happier life shall be taught in connection with regular school work.

By December 30 of each year, each school district and the State Charter School Board is required to submit to the lieutenant governor and the Commission on Civic and Character Education a report summarizing how civic and character education are achieved in the school district or charter schools through an integrated school curriculum and in the regular course of school work.

Each year, the state board of education "shall report to the Education Interim Committee, on or before the October meeting, the methods used, and the results being achieved, to instruct and prepare students to become informed and responsible citizens through an integrated curriculum taught in connection with regular school work" as statutorily required.
Utah Code Ann. § 53A-13-101.4 & Utah Code Ann. § 53A-13-109
State administrative code addressed civics, citizenship education or social studies State requires students receive patriotic and civic education. Instruction should include United States government as well as coursework discussing the philosophical underpinnings of American government and comparative governments.

Additionally, schools are required to provide civic and character education through integrated coursework.
UT Admin. Code. R277-475

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