Civics education isn’t what it should be in Illinois. This is according to Gery J. Chico, chairman of the state Board of Education. “I’m really troubled about the level of preparedness of our students in the area of civics. Jay Leno only does this half in jest when he takes the microphone out there outside of his show and asks people who was Abraham Lincoln, and we stump a bunch of people,” he said.
Civics is the study of citizenship, its rights and duties, and the way an orderly society functions.
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What can you do? Chico says there’s pressure on schools to teach students science, technology, engineering and math, so subjects such as civics are sacrificed in the time squeeze, and the humanities, such as art and music, are sacrificed when budgets must be trimmed.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is working on a social studies curriculum that will include civics. Beyond that, Chico says the state must do better in this area, and is looking for ways.