New Law Sponsored By Brooks Recognizes Importance Of Civics

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Legislation implementing a new emphasis on civics education in Tennessee was among bills signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam this week as the state prepares to observe the Memorial Day weekend.

House Bill 2114, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brooks (R—Cleveland), aims to give students the skills they need to be better informed about the workings of their own government. The law requires civics education to be included in the public school curriculum assessed by Local Educational Agencies. 

The legislation drew praise from retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’ Connor who wrote the sponsors of the law last week saying, “This important legislation will help make sure that every Tennessee student receives the civil learning that is so vital to their becoming an informed and engaged citizen.” The most recent study of the National Assessment of Educational Progress reported that students perform worse in civics and U.S. history than in any other subjects. To counteract this trend, O’Connor has become a staunch advocate of civics education.  

Rep. Brooks stated, “With Memorial Day upon us, it is a special time of remembrance for Americans. It’s a day that sets our nation apart from her peers. It is a time when all of us reflect on the sacrifice made by our service men and women whose selfless courage ensures America is the standard of freedom for the world.”

He added, “With this law, I feel confident more Tennessee students will really understand the unique standing our Creator has given America, the special heritage of our nation, and what it has taken to make our country so great.”  

“I share Justice O’Connor’s deep concern regarding the need for a strong foundation in civics education so students will be fully engaged both as citizens and future leaders,” said Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R—Collierville), who sponsored the Senate version of the law. “The Memorial Day holiday is a stark reminder of those who fought and died for our freedom and right to self-govern. It is important that students know the underpinnings of our U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions and our democratic framework.  It is even more important that they understand how they work together to make life better for those who live under the flag of freedom in this great nation.”   

The legislation passed this year is timely as a result of the state’s recent waiver of the No Child Left Behind law. Both Reps. Brooks and Norris are concerned that if Tennessee does not test civic knowledge and skills, they could become afterthoughts in education, especially in schools where students are at risk of failing the subjects that are tested. The legislative duo say the project-based assessment put into place under the new law, moves away from testing memorization of facts and puts the focus on the academic skills needed for engaging in social issues and governance.    

According to the most recent reports, there are deficiencies in Tennessee’s curriculum, particularly as it effects active, project-based instruction which is the most effective method of learning civics education. This new law calls for engaging students in choosing issues of concern to them, followed by investigative research and development of plans for improving their communities.

Chickamauga And Chattanooga National Military Park Welcomes 4th Grade Students Through Every Kid In Park Initiative

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites all 4th grade students to visit the park for free as part of the White House’s new Every Kid in a Park program. Starting Tuesday, 4th grade students can now go to www.everykidinapark.gov to complete an activity and obtain a free annual entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks.  ... (click for more)

CSCC CAD Club Volunteers With Enabling The Future To Create Prosthetic Hands

Cleveland State Community College’s Computer Aided Design Club has been volunteering with Enabling the Future, an organization that uses 3D printing to create free prosthetic hands for children with upper limb differences.  Cleveland State student Mike Isbell found out about the organization soon after he was elected to his position as CAD Club President.  “I wanted ... (click for more)

2 Missing Soddy Daisy Children Found Safe After Large Search

Two missing Soddy Daisy children were found Wednesday morning after a large search for the brother and sister, ages 4 and 7. Te children were located at 811 Sluder Road about two miles from their residence. According to the Soddy Daisy Police Department, the children are in good condition. Emergency medical assistance is not required. They had been reported as last seen ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Unsecured Creditors Committee Asks Trustee Be Appointed For Fort Oglethorpe Hospital; Asks Bankruptcy Not Be Dismissed

The Unsecured Creditors Committee of Hutcheson Medical Center is opposing a motion by U.S. Trustee Guy Gebhardt for a bankruptcy judge to dismiss the bankruptcy for the financially-ailing Fort Oglethorpe hospital.   Instead, the group is asking Judge Paul Bonapfel to appoint a trustee to oversee the Hutcheson finances. In a 16-page motion, the committee said if the bankruptcy ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Is Right On The Muslim Threat - And Response (2)

Sheriff Hammond is exactly correct on the Muslims in Tennessee.  He sees with clear eyes the problem with the Muslims in our state and country.  They do want to take over Tennessee.  Our politicians are selling us down the river and allowing the trouble makers to dig in like tics and suck out the life's blood of our Constitution and take us over.  They ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Barners Trounce Who?

There is a website known as Grammarly that just completed a profound study. An automated proof-reading company (who I hope never finds out about me) collected 100 comments that each included over 50 words from the comment blogs of the nation’s preseason Top 25 college football teams. Then they fed them into the company’s huge algorithm computer and checked each fan base for punctuation, ... (click for more)