Text: S.Res.427 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Agreed to Senate (04/29/2014)


113th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. RES. 427


Expressing the sense of the Senate about the importance of effective civic education programs in schools in the United States.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 29, 2014

Mr. Cardin (for himself and Mr. Grassley) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to


RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the Senate about the importance of effective civic education programs in schools in the United States.

    Whereas civic education is essential to the preservation and improvement of the constitutional government of the United States;

    Whereas civic education programs foster understanding of the history and principles of the constitutional government of the United States, including principles that are embodied in certain fundamental documents and speeches, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers, the Gettysburg Address, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech;

    Whereas research shows that too few people in the United States understand basic principles of the constitutional government of the United States, such as the natural rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence, the existence and functions of the 3 branches of the Federal Government, checks and balances, and other concepts fundamental to informed citizenship;

    Whereas since the founding of the United States, schools in the United States have had a strong civic mission to prepare students to be informed, rational, humane, and involved citizens who are committed to the values and principles of the constitutional government of the United States;

    Whereas a free society relies on the knowledge, skills, and virtue of the citizens of such society, particularly the individuals elected to public office to represent such citizens;

    Whereas while many institutions help to develop the knowledge and skills and shape the civic character of people in the United States, schools in the United States, including elementary schools, bear a special and historic responsibility for the development of civic competence and civic responsibility of students;

    Whereas student learning is enhanced by well-designed classroom civic education programs that—

    (1) incorporate instruction in government, history, law, and democracy;

    (2) promote discussion of current events and controversial issues;

    (3) link community service and the formal curriculum; and

    (4) encourage students to participate in simulations of democratic processes; and

    Whereas research shows that the knowledge and expertise of teachers are among the most important factors in increasing student achievement: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that—

(1) civic education is essential to the well-being of the constitutional government of the United States;

(2) comprehensive and formal instruction in civics and government provides students with a basis for understanding the rights and responsibilities of citizens in the constitutional government of the United States;

(3) elementary and secondary schools in the United States are encouraged to offer courses on history and theories of the constitutional government of the United States, using programs and curricula with a demonstrated effectiveness in fostering civic competence, civic responsibility, and a reasoned commitment to the fundamental values and principles underlying the constitutional government of the United States; and

(4) all teachers of civics and government are well served by having access to adequate opportunities to enrich teaching through professional development programs that enhance the capacity of such teachers to provide effective civic education in the classroom.