Decline and fall


Published: Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 12:41 a.m.
''There's a serious problem in the way in which we are not preparing Floridians for their roles as citizens, that this is having some consequences in terms of voting and civic participation."
Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham who, along with former U.S. Rep. Lou Frey, wants Florida schools to do a better job teaching civics.
One consequence of Florida's use of FCAT scores to assess schools and student learning is that, increasingly, schools are teaching FCAT-related subjects to the exclusion of other subjects. So while students are learning more math, writing, English and science, they are learning less about how their system of representative democracy works. ''Social studies is the only major core subject not involved in the FCAT,'' said Frey. The two former lawmakers are correct; it surely cannot be good for the future of democracy to produce an entire generation of Floridians who are ignorant of its workings. "Now is the time to begin to reverse that decline," says Graham.

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