Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has signed a bill requiring middle school students to take a civics class and pass an end-of-course test in order to go on to high school.
Lawmakers said the requirement, signed into law last week, is needed because many citizens don’t know the difference between a state legislator and member of Congress—or even who is president.
The bill is called the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Education Act after the retired U.S. Supreme Court justice. Former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and ex-U.S. Rep. Lou Frey joined forces four years ago to push for such a requirement.
A version of this article appeared in the May 19, 2010 edition of Education Week as Middle School Civics Mandate Signed Into Law in Florida