Quote Originally Posted by SVPete View Post
Back in ancient times - when I was in 8th Grade - we studied the Constitution and had to pass a test on it as a requirement to graduate. I guess that is not done anymore, or maybe the test is "unofficially" unflunkable.
Here in Texas at least, middle school and high school do cover the Constitution quite a bit, according to the state standards. However, the problems come in with the state testing. in 8th grade, students take a standardized test (STARR) over US history, from colonization to reconstruction, which usually has significant sections on the creation and workings of the US Constitution. However, passing the history STARR is not required to move on to high school, unlike the reading, math and science STARR, so far too many students don't care about passing it. In high school there is an End Of Class test in US history that has to be passed to graduate, but it suffers from one of the other issues of standardized testing's connection to money. District's money from the feds and the state are tied to test scores, individual school's money is tied to test scores, and teachers keeping their jobs are tied to test scores. As a result, teachers teach kids how to pass the tests, not the knowledge being tested. I've gone to trainings that break down what topics show up how often on the STARR tests, how often they show up in past years, and how to guide students to figuring out answers from the test questions.

One advantage of my little disciplinary campus, my name isn't attached to any test scores, our student's tests are figured into their home campuses. i worry less about them being able to eliminate answers from the list and more about them knowing how thing actually happened and how things are supposed to work.