New York State School Boards Association

NYSSBA poll results: Students need better preparation in “civic readiness”


FOR RELEASE: November 8, 2018

 

 

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell

@nyschoolboards

   

Only 50 percent of school board members who responded to a recent NYSSBA poll said their districts are sufficiently preparing students to understand the role citizens play in a democracy. Accordingly, more than two-thirds would like to see civic readiness become a graduation requirement in New York.

Nearly 40 percent of board members said they believe debates over political issues have polarized their school districts.

"School board members place high importance on providing students with the skills and experiences they will need to become responsible, informed and engaged citizens," said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. "These results demonstrate that a majority of respondents – nearly 70 percent – want to ensure that schools throughout New York do better on this front by making civic readiness a requirement for graduation."

Currently, there is no specific proposal to make civic readiness a graduation requirement in New York. However, the state is developing a "civic readiness index" as part of its new school quality and accountability system.  Civic readiness is an accountability factor under the state's plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The poll is not a scientific sampling of school board members, and results do not represent official positions of the New York State School Boards Association.

A summary of the questions and results follows here:

  • Overall, do you think your district does a good job preparing students to understand the role citizens play in a democracy?

     

    #

    %

    Yes

    258

    50.1%

    No

    105

    20.4%

    Not sure

    152

    29.5%

    TOTALS

    515

    100%

  • Do you think civic readiness (a measure of the degree to which students are engaged in the political process) should be a requirement for graduation?

     

    #

    %

    Yes

    349

    67.6%

    No

    108

    20.9%

    Not sure

    59

    11.4%

    TOTALS

    516

    100%

  • Do you think debates over political issues have polarized your school district?

     

    #

    %

    Yes, to a large degree

    47

    9.1%

    Yes, to a small degree

    155

    30.1%

    No

    214

    41.6%

    Not sure

    99

    19.1%

    TOTALS

    515

    100%

 

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