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Arizona Pushes for Civics Savvy Among American Youth

The American Civics Act mandates high school students can’t graduate until they pass the very same civics test given to candidates vying for U.S. citizenship.

Meet George, governmental guru and fan of the American Civics Act. Art Credit: "George Washington" by Rembrandt Peale, 1853.

Apparently Arizona, land of well-sunned cacti groves, the Grand Canyon, and rampant racial profiling, is looking to lead the charge on trying to ensure that future generations of American youth are civics savvy.

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A sixth-grader in Texas with the user name, "Gummy Bear," pops onto my laptop screen. She's doing a National History Day project about "rights and responsibilities" that highlights the Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines that I was a plaintiff in.

She wants to know why I wore a black armband to school in eighth grade in 1965, and why the Court ruled on February 24, 1969, that neither students nor teachers "shed their Constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

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Kicker: New Media Startup Fights Back Against the Dumbing Down of America

A new platform called "Kicker" helps young people engage with current events.

Who is Osama bin Laden? Is he famous? Is he in a band as well? And why should I care? These were all questions that teenagers tweeted in May 2011 on the night President Obama announced that U.S. special operations forces killed Osama Bin Laden. Data released by Yahoo! concluded that two thirds of the people who searched "Who is Osama bin Laden?" that night were teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17-years-old.

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16-Year-Old Girl Challenges Michele Bachmann to a Civics Debate

Maybe civics education isn't dead after all.

Ready for a one-question civics pop quiz? How many amendments are there to the United States Constitution? If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by the question, you're not alone. The average American student is pretty ignorant when it comes to civics. Data released this month from the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed three-quarters of seniors can't name a power granted to Congress by the Constitution.

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