Strong majority favor high school civics requirement - 253 participants

Feb 18, 2017

SB 45, passed by the New Hampshire Senate, would require students in New Hampshire to take a civics class before graduating high school. Read more about this issue here. On February 18, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH require a course in civics for high school graduation?”

“Should NH require a course in civics for high school graduation?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Civics Education New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 253 participants gave 389 responses

A total of 94% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 6% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 253 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 389 responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

[Note: Citizens Count NH also received additional comments from 25 individuals from outside New Hampshire.]

What Participants Said:

Yes: A strong majority, at 94% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of requiring a course in civics for high school graduation.  

  • “It's hard to participate in a democracy if you don't know how it works.”
  • “It is an important subject, [and] a regular course that allows teachers flexibility and student engagement would be way more effective than a uniform test.”
  • “Absolutely. Let's give them a sense of civic pride and knowledge.”

No: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 6%, were opposed to requiring a course in civics for high school graduation.  

  • “No unconstitutional, unfunded mandates forced on the local districts.”
  • “It should be up to local school boards.”
  • “I like the idea, but I would have to see the curriculum first. So I have to go with no.”

Other: As noted above, 6% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • Current status: “We had to take it in 11th grade when I was in school. When did it change?”
  • Curriculum in other states: “Some states require at least one year of American history for graduation. In many cases American history is taught over a two year period and is mandatory, like English.”
  • Implementation: “I'm not sure that we have anyone bright enough to teach it.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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Related Bill

SB 45 (2017)
Bill Status: Passed Senate
Hearing date: Mar 15, 2017

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