Gov. DeSantis announces effort to require civics education in Florida

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High school seniors in Florida better know their United States civics.

On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced in Collier County a new plan requiring seniors to pass a civics test similar to the citizenship exam.

Students and parents we spoke to like the concept, but that’s not everyone’s reaction.

This year’s graduating seniors will have to take a civics test as part of the governor’s soft rollout.

Senior Michaela O’Brien said, “We don’t have ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ anymore to teach us about bills and laws.”

Governor DeSantis announced that seniors will have to learn more about civics and take an exam before graduation, saying, “We would like initially to understand where we are and how bad it is because you see some of these numbers nationally. When they do surveys they’re really bad. I kind of like to think we would do better.”

DeSantis says not enough students learn what it means to be a United States citizen.

The exam, he says, will be similar to the citizenship test.

For parent Kathy O’Brien, this hard work will pay off, “The more education that kids have the more they know the stronger they are, and that makes for a better community, country, and people.”

Collier County Public Schools says parents shouldn’t worry, and that civics is alive and well in their kid’s classrooms.

But this new requirement may have some growing pains.

Chad Oliver, communication director for CCPS says, “Many of our students are transient. You’re coming to Collier County from other parts of the world, other parts of the country, and maybe they haven’t had the benefit of CCPS courses growing up.”

He says 7th graders already take a civics education course and need to pass an exam to move on to 8th grade.

Student Michaela Obrien says, what’s another test before heading out into the real world, “Adding another thing that can actually be helpful to our country and encourage other students to vote, I think it’s worth it.”

The repercussions of failing the test have yet to be determined. That will need to go through the legislative process.

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