Why Civics Education Matters

52 min
at 10:00 AM
Two workers adjust US flags on the US Capitol as preparations continue for the second inauguration of US President Barack Obama in Washington, DC, on January 17, 2013. (Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

A 2016 survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that only 26 percent of American respondents could name all three branches of government. And only one in three Americans would be able to pass a multiple choice U.S. citizenship test, according to a new poll from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Why are so many Americans struggling to understand how their government works? Today on Forum, we take a look at how civics education is being taught -- or not -- in California and across the country, and how the lack of civics literacy is affecting citizen participation.

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Guests:

Yoni Appelbaum, senior editor, The Atlantic

David Azerrad, director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics; fellow, Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Foundation

Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California, California Supreme Court

Dave Eggers, founder, McSweeney's and 826 Valencia; author,
"What Can a Citizen Do?"

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