HB 611 and SB 146 in 2021-civics education

Here’s what HB 611 would add to Florida statute 1003.44 if it passes:
(5)(a) The commissioner shall develop minimum criteria for
19 a civic literacy practicum that helps students evaluate the
20 roles, rights, and responsibilities of United States citizens
21 and identify effective methods of active participation in
22 society, government, and the political system. The practicum may
23 be incorporated into a school’s curriculum for the high school
24 United States Government course under s. 1003.4282(3)(d)
25 beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.
(b) The purpose of the practicum is to inspire meaningful
27 civic engagement and help students learn how governmental
28 entities at the local, state, or federal level interact with the
29 public which they represent and serve. The practicum must
30 provide students with an opportunity to be civically engaged
31 through any of the following activities:
32 1. Participation in an unpaid internship at a governmental
33 entity.
34 2. A series of simulations or observations of one or more
35 governmental entities performing their core functions in
36 relation to the public. Such functions may include
37 administrative, legislative, or judicial functions and other
38 official business conducted by a governmental entity.
39 3. Learning about the United States citizenship
40 naturalization process and attending a United States citizenship
41 naturalization oath ceremony.
42 (c) The practicum must require a student to complete a
43 research paper that must include all of the following:
44 1. Reflection on the student’s experience participating in
45 the civic engagement activity.
46 2. Explanation of the significance of the governmental
47 entity’s role in the student’s community, the state, or the
48 nation.
49 3. Explanation of how the governmental entity is
50 responsive to the public.
51 (d) The hours outside of classroom instruction that a
52 student devotes to an unpaid civic engagement activity under
53 paragraph (b) may count toward the community service
54 requirements for participation in the Florida Bright Futures
55 Scholarship Program. School districts are encouraged to include
56 and accept civic literacy practicum activities and hours toward
57 requirements for academic awards, especially those awards that
58 include community service as a criterion or selection factor.

This is what SB 146 will add to 1003.44:
(5)(a) In order to help students evaluate the roles,  rights, and responsibilities of United States citizens and determine methods of active participation in society, government, and the political system, the commissioner shall develop minimum criteria for a nonpartisan civic literacy
practicum that may be incorporated into a school’s curriculum for the high school United States Government course required by s. 1003.4282(3)(d), beginning with the 2022-2023 school year.
[line 33]  The commissioner also shall develop a process by which a district school board can verify that a student successfully completed a practicum meeting those criteria.
   1. The criteria must require a student to do all of the following:
   a. Identify a civic issue that impacts his or her
   community.
   b. Rigorously research the issue from multiple perspectives and develop a plan for his or her personal involvement in addressing the issue.
   c. Create a portfolio to evaluate and reflect upon his or her experience and the outcomes or likely outcomes of his or her involvement. A portfolio must, at minimum, include research,  evidence, and a written plan of involvement.
 2. A civic literacy practicum must be nonpartisan, focus on addressing at least one community issue, and promote a student’s ability to consider differing points of view and engage in civil discourse with individuals who hold an opposing opinion.
(b) The hours outside of classroom instruction which a student devotes to the nonpartisan civic literacy practicum to implement his or her plan of involvement may be counted toward meeting the community service requirements of the Florida Bright
Futures Scholarship Program. School districts must include and accept nonpartisan civic literacy practicum activities and hours in requirements for academic awards, especially those awards that include community service as a criterion or selection factor.
(c) The State Board of Education shall annually designate each public school in this state which provides students with high-quality civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, as a Freedom School. The state board shall establish the criteria for a school’s designation as a Freedom School. The
criteria must include all of the following:
1. The extent to which strategies to develop high-quality civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, are integrated into the classroom using best instructional practices.
2. The scope of integration of high-quality civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, across the school’s curricula.
3. The extent to which the school supports interdisciplinary, teacher-led professional learning communities to support continuous improvement in instruction and student achievement.
4. The minimum percentage of students graduating with a standard high school diploma who must successfully complete a civic literacy practicum and earn community service hours as provided in this subsection.

Note that HB 611 says nothing about nonpartisan whereas its companion bill SB 146 does mention nonpartisan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s