Civic Education Policies: State Profile

Civic Education Policies: State Profile - Rhode Island

December 2016


Data are collected using publicly available state statute, administrative code and, in some cases, curriculum and standards frameworks. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.


Description Citation/Link
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies High School Graduation Requirements
Are there high school graduation requirement in civics or citizenship education? Commencing with the graduating class of 2014, each LEA shall create a composite measure of each student’s overall proficiency in the six core academic areas: English language arts, math, science, social studies, the arts, and technology. These six core content areas shall be aligned to state adopted standards and locally adopted national standards in those content areas for which 6 there are no state standards. This composite measure shall be derived from a conjunctive review of three sources of evidence: (1) individual student results on the state assessment in content areas designated by the Board of Regents; and (2) successful course completion; and (3) successful completion of two performance-based diploma assessments. These requirements are set forth in sections L-6-3.1, L-6-3.2 and L-6-3.3 of these regulations. In order to be eligible for a diploma, students must meet state and local requirements in all three areas. Regulations of The Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, Section L-6-3.1
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Standards and Curriculum Frameworks
State standards include civics or citizenship education The Rhode Island Grade Span Expectations (grade-cluster standards) include a strand of standards for Civics and Government.

Sample standards/benchmarks include: comparing similarities between a rule and a law (grades 3-4), exhibiting and explaining what it means to be a responsible citizen in the state and nation (grades 7-8), and interacting with political institutions and/or political parties in order to evaluate how they shape the public agenda (high school).
Rhode Island Grade Span Expectations for Social Studies (2012)

http://www.ride.ri.gov/portals/0/uploads/documents/instruction-and-assessment-world-class-standards/social-studies/ri-ss-gses-k-12-final-version.pdf

Rhode Island Grade Span Expectations for Social Studies Civics and Government Strand (2012)

http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Instruction-and-Assessment-World-Class-Standards/Social-Studies/RI-SS-GSEs-K-12-C-G-Strand.pdf
Curriculum frameworks include civics or citizenship education N/A. However, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides a “Guide to Civics Grade Span Expectations Resource Alignment” to assist in standards-aligned curriculum design as well as a list of online resources to support instruction. Guide to Civics GSEs Resource Alignment

http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Instruction-and-Assessment-World-Class-Standards/Social-Studies/Civics-GSEs-Resource-Alignment-Guide-PDF.pdf

Rhode Island Grade Span Expectations for Social Studies Appendix B

http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Instruction-and-Assessment-World-Class-Standards/Social-Studies/RI-Civics-GSEs-App-B-Resources.pdf


 
 

 
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Inclusion in Assessment and Accountability Systems
State assessments include civics, citizenship education or social studies N/A 16-97-8
State accountability system includes civics, citizenship education or social studies N/A
Civics, Citizenship or Social Studies Addressed in Other State Statutes or Administrative Code
State statutes (laws) that address civics, citizenship education or social studies The Rhode Island Permanent Commission on Civic Education is empowered "to appoint committees to study specialized areas of concern and to report their findings and recommendations to the commission," legislators and the commissioner of elementary and secondary education. "Civic education" is defined as "the goal of education in civic and government is informed, responsible participation in political life by competent citizens committed to the fundamental values and principles on American constitutional democracy. Their effective and responsible participation requires the acquisition of a body of knowledge and of intellectual and participatory skills. Effective and responsible participation also is furthered by development of certain dispositions or traits of character that enhance the individual's capacity to participate in the political process and contribute to the healthy functioning of the political system and improvement of society."

"A high quality program of social studies fosters life long participation in civic life and social action that leads to effective and productive citizenship in a world that is culturally diverse and interdependent. It fosters the ability to apply inquiry processes and to employ the skills of data collection and analysis, collaboration, decision-making, and problem solving. The social studies subject area includes the following social sciences: history and historical thinking skills, geography, economics, political science/government, civics, sociology, and anthropology." Requirements for the Basic Education Program include specifications for a coherent and coordinated K-12 social studies curriculum.
R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-2.1-2, § 16-2.1-3, G-13-1.3.3
State administrative code addressed civics, citizenship education or social studies Civic education is included in the state’s Basic Education Program. Social studies should be “a high quality program…[that] fosters life long participation in civic life and social action that leads to effective and productive citizenship in world that is culturally diverse and interdependent.” Code R.I. Reg. G-13-1.3.3

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