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Florida Board of Governors considers changing how students meet civic literacy requirement

Under the changes, students wouldn't be able to use the Citizenship test to forgo a civic literacy requirement.

The group will meet on Wednesday to discuss the changes.

The Board of Governors is meeting Wednesday, March 27 to discuss a replacement for sociology as a core course and changes to civics literacy in Florida. Sociology was dropped to comply with restrictions on instruction around human sexuality.

The Board, which oversees the state’s public universities, will vote on replacing sociology with an American History course as a general education core course option and a way to meet the state’s civic literacy requirement.

Along with these changes, the board will also vote on whether to continue to allow incoming freshmen to use the Citizenship test to fulfill the civic literacy requirement.

Hope CommUnity Center’s Director Felipe Sousa-Lazaballet said not allowing students to use the Citizenship test adds new barriers to first generation-college students.

“I want to question the reasons why they’re including an extra burden and an extra step for people who want to simply get a college education. And the citizenship test right now is very comprehensive,” said Sousa-Lazaballet.

The Citizenship test covers American History, American Government, and Civics.

“As a matter of fact, most Americans couldn't pass the test if they took the test. So you're essentially having people have to study twice for two different tests, even though one of them is so comprehensive,” said Sousa-Lazaballet.

According to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, only one in three Americans could pass the Citizenship test, if asked to take it today.

If approved, only passing scores on AP Gov, AP History, CLEP American Government or the Florida Civic Literacy Exam could be used to fulfill this requirement for incoming freshmen.

Read the full agenda for the meeting here.

Read the proposed rule change here:

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.
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