Juniors take new civics literacy exam

With a new civics literacy test introduced in 2021, students in AP U.S. Government and Politics took the test Tuesday.

In the summer of 2021, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law requiring students taking AP U.S. Government and Politics classes take this test to be exempt from a civic literacy assessment mandated for all state college and university students.

“I personally think it’s [civic literacy exam] unnecessary,” Guidance Director Mike Drake said. “Everybody already takes U.S. Government to graduate from high school anyway.”

U.S. Government teacher Sean Regan said the exam isn’t a bad idea.

“I don’t think it’s a hindrance at all,” he said. “Maybe, you know, slightly repetitive, obviously, because they had the seventh-grade civics EOC. But I think there’s a good idea behind it.”

While a second testing window will open in the spring, most West Shore students were tested Tuesday because U.S. Government is a one-semester class.

“I think [junior year] is a good time for it,” Regan said. “Because seniors have other things going on [in] their minds, like those that are going to college, or you know, start going off focusing on those things a little early, whereas 11th-grade students they tend to be focused in.”

The test requires a 60 percent pass rate to succeed. But Drake said believes students have been prepared given that government teachers already have taught the concepts on the test and also Drake said teachers presented students with pre-test material.

“There are some resources that Mr. Regan has been given by the district … to help them prepare for the exam,” he said. “But from what I’ve heard from other people that other schools, government teachers are already doing these things. So it’s not like something new. It’s just measuring something they’re already doing.”

By Saaketh Kesireddy