Civic education has been the traditional means of teaching students about democracy. Students learn about the role of government in American society, what good citizenship means, which skills are needed to be good citizens, and how to promote toleration and respect for others.
In short, most students don't learn ethics at a chronological age at which, just like foreign language skills, the teachable moments arise at the best possible ages, making learning reflexive -- almost automatic.
"As a society, we have to understand that science is a way of understanding the truth about the way things actually are in the physical world independent of how we wish they would be," Sen. Al Franken said.
Despite a past of educating children to be capable and engaged citizens, too many of our schools are now failing at their civic mission. When less than one third of American eighth graders can identify the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence, we have a problem.