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What will it take to bring back social studies?

Photo credit: National Parks Service
Students on a field trip


On this edition of Your Call, we find out why children are spending less and less time in social studies class learning about government and civics.

While standardized tests in civics show some improvement, the achievement gap between rich and poor schools is only widening as English and math crowd out social studies. We’ll talk about how this decline is affecting young people’s ability to analyze information and think critically. It also affects whether people vote and work on community issues after high school. What will it take to bring back social studies?


Larry Paska, executive director of the National Council for the Social Studies, which provides leadership, service, and support for social studies educators

Elizabeth Mann Levesque, governance studies fellow at the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution

Web Resources:

LA School Report: A growing achievement gap in civics education: What a new study reveals about social studies, class and race

Brookings Institute: 2018 Brown Center Report on American Education: Prologue

KQED / The Hechinger Report: How Social Studies Can Help Young Kids Make Sense of the World


Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular Friday media roundtable guest in 2001.