GSE Faculty Research

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

July 2004


In an era of tests and standards, how do our schools score in preparing citizens? Are any superintendents worrying about their jobs because of low civic scores on state assessments?

There is no more central purpose to schools in a democracy than the preparation of citizens, yet you would hardly know it from how we hold these key public institutions accountable. Questions about the health of our civic life underlie many of today's central campaign issues, from taxes to foreign policy. What sort of democracy are we, and what do we expect every citizen to be able to do?


Reprinted with permission in Education Week, Volume 23, Issue 42, July 2004, Page 52.

At the time of publication, the author, was affiliated with the College Board. Currently, Michael C. Johanek is a senior fellow with the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.



Date Posted: 29 October 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.