Civics Is Dead

LIU Studios

Poll after poll, interview after interview, survey after survey, and assessment after assessment consistently show that the students of America do not know the basic history of our country or the essential responsibilities and rights of being an American citizen. 23 minutes of history education in a school day is not enough. Join educator Cindy Schwartz for a deep dive into the reasons why the study of social studies and civics has been sidelined. Because if civics is really dead, then what happens next?

A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org and follow us on Twitter @CivicsIsDead

Teaser - Civics Is Dead Season 1
Trailer 36 sec

All Episodes

In this episode, we connect with New York State’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, Rachel Murat - a true “Boots on the Ground” civics educator! A passionate Social Studies teacher at upstate New York’s Maine-Endwell High School for more than 20 years, Rachel makes civics education her priority both in and outside of the classroom. Described by Andy Pallotta, President of the New York State United Teachers Union as ‘a shining example of how we should all seek to impact our communities to build a better New York and world”, Rachel’s MEALS food pantry program, “Digital Citizenship” course and student mentoring program are just a few of the reasons why she is so beloved and impactful. Please note that this episode was produced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org and follow us on Twitter @CivicsIsDead

Nov 2020

37 min

In this episode, we speak with author, historian, professor and Director of Secondary Education at Hofstra University, Dr. Alan Singer, who argues that Civics is Not Dead – it’s just morphed into student activism about issues like climate change. But, Dr. Singer warns us – this activism must be brought back into the classroom and channeled into more participatory democracy in our schools or democracy will not survive the long haul. Please note that this episode was produced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org and follow us on Twitter @CivicsIsDead

Oct 2020

32 min 55 sec

JFK majored in history and so did business entrepreneur Martha Stewart, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, comedian Larry David, and a host of other well-known politicians and celebrities. But according to a 2018 analysis published by the American Historical Association, only 5 history degrees are awarded per 1,000 college graduates. Only 5. Why is that? Should we have our antennas up? And why is it that the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point just recently toyed with eliminating 13 majors from its liberal arts program with history being one of them? In this episode, we speak with three college students who help us to understand how and why they became history majors at a time when studying history simply for history’s sake might just be a thing of the past. Could this be a ‘Gone with the Wind’ moment? Please note that this episode was produced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org and follow us on Twitter @CivicsIsDead

Oct 2020

22 min 46 sec

Research is telling us that the teaching of Social Studies, American history and civics is decreasing in American schools, particularly at the elementary school level. Additionally, only 9 states and the District of Columbia require one year of U.S. government or civics, while 30 states require a half year and the other 11 states have no civics requirement. No state has experiential learning or local problem-solving components in its civics requirements. If our primary and secondary schools are not setting the foundation for our children to become knowledgeable, participatory members of our democracy, then we have to hope that our colleges are. The problem is – they might not be doing it either. This begs us to ask the question – when it comes to civics education – are colleges our friend or foe? Please note that this episode was produced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org and follow us on Twitter @CivicsIsDead

Oct 2020

23 min 28 sec

Welcome back to another informative season of Civics is Dead! Our second season, “Boots on the Ground” continues to explore the side-lining of social studies education in favor of English/language arts and math through the lens of those educators, students, and parents who are in the trenches everyday. Do their experiences support the data that shows teachers just don’t have the time for social studies and civics education anymore? In this episode, we tackle the marginalization of social studies education by speaking with first grade teacher Antoinette Hatzopoulos, recipient of the 2018-2019 Margaret Simon Award for Excellence in Elementary Social Studies Education given by the Long Island Council of the Social Studies. We will learn about her successes and her challenges as she attempts to make social studies education relevant again. Perhaps this will be how we discover the way to Oz. Our democracy depends on it. Please note that this episode was produced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org and follow us on Twitter @CivicsIsDead

Oct 2020

23 min 55 sec

Season 2 of Civics Is Dead premieres Friday, October 9th! New episodes will be released every Friday through November 6th. This season, "Boots on the Ground", journeys into the classrooms of elementary, secondary, and college instructors to learn how they make history and civics education relevant and fun despite the marginalization of these subjects in favor of STEM. Please note that all interviews were conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Civics Is Dead is a production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org and follow us on Twitter @CivicsIsDead

Oct 2020

1 min 4 sec

“Oh Happy Day” - Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote! On August 18th, 1920, after one hundred years of activism and protesting, women received the right to vote in the United States with the ratification of the 19th Amendment by the United States Congress. The door swung wide open and women entered the political arena eager to practice the civic responsibilities that had been previously granted only to American males. Join us as we honor those who fought and those who continue to fight for women’s right to participate equally in our Democratic process. A place at the table...all Americans are entitled to it and all Americans need to be sure they never lose it! A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org and follow us on Twitter @CivicsIsDead

Mar 2020

17 min 57 sec

We continue our look at how to address the problem of the decreasing amount of time American schools are devoting to the teaching of American history, civics and social studies. Using the 2018 Brown Center Report on American Education, we look at our nation’s Social Studies teachers and their demographics. Finally, we go over some suggestions for future sampler lessons and a mandate to teachers across the United States. Make your lessons more experiential or risk failure in guaranteeing the survival of participatory democracy in the United States. Because in the end, it’s all about the teacher. A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org

Oct 2019

28 min 25 sec

We examine the results of the 2018 Brown Center Report on American Education and see how the results reveal a path forward – a path that will lead us to “fixing the problem” while making civics education classes the highlight of a student’s day! Let’s do this. A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org

Oct 2019

19 min 38 sec

We tackle the 2009 roll-out of President Barack Obama’s “Race To The Top” education reform initiative to see if our schools, teachers, and students improved. Although, one can’t help but wonder if anyone really wins when the focus is only on winning? A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org

Oct 2019

24 min 20 sec

It's time to explore the reasons WHY schools aren’t devoting more classroom time to teaching social studies, history and civics. Could it have something to do with leaving someone behind? A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org

Oct 2019

20 min 24 sec

The plot thickens as we unravel the results of a 2018 survey conducted by The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation that details the sad state of Americans’ knowledge of their own history. In other words, didn’t climate change cause the Cold War? A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org

Oct 2019

17 min 14 sec

In the first episode of Civics Is Dead, we lay out the statistics that let us know that something is terribly wrong with the knowledge (and lack thereof) that American students have about their own country’s political history. How does this bode for the future of the United States? A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org

Oct 2019

19 min 1 sec

Poll after poll, interview after interview, survey after survey, and assessment after assessment consistently show that the students of America do not know the basic history of our country or the essential responsibilities and rights of being an American citizen. 23 minutes of history education in a school day is not enough. Join educator Cindy Schwartz for a deep dive into the reasons why the study of American history and civics has been sidelined. Because if civics is really dead, then what happens next? A production of LIU Public Radio. Visit us at WCWP.org

Sep 2019

36 sec