LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Governor Ron DeSantis wants to make sure Florida students know their American history by requiring high school seniors to take a mandatory civics exam.
We're hearing from school leaders right here in the Big Bend following the governor's announcement.
Gov. Ron DeSantis says a primary objective in the state of Florida for education has to be to prepare our students for citizenship. He says that all high school seniors should be required to take a civics exam similar to a test that immigrants must pass to become naturalized citizens.
"I don't know a lot about this initiative, other than to say that we do a lot around civics education now in our schools," said Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna. "But this is just another thing that will be put on the backs and shoulders of teachers coming out of the capital."
Superintendent Rocky Hanna says that for Leon County students, learning civics is of vital importance and that many kids don't understand our government, the Constitution and the foundations of our founding fathers.
"Our students need to have a greater understanding of what our country stands for," said Hanna. "And the purpose of an education."
Currently, seventh graders in Leon County take a mandatory civics course and an end-of-course civics exam and high school seniors have to take American Government as a graduation requirement.
The test will be implemented by next school year, but DeSantis said he'd like a trial run this school year depending on what works out with the state Legislature.
In response, the Florida Education Association tweeted on Tuesday:
That he won't extend this testing to voucher schools is a clear signal he doesn't believe adding this test is a benefit to Florida's students. If the governor were serious about this proposal, he would require the test for all high schools that receive public funds.— Florida Education Association (@FloridaEA) December 10, 2019