To most high school students, civics class means a chance to daydream through some positively arid lectures on the finer points of American governmental structure. To researchers at the University of Wisconsin, however, it might mean a key to increasing political participation. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism recently laid out this case in its interview with the author of a 2005-2009 study which suggested that students who received a high-quality civics education were more likely to vote in subsequent elections.

While Wisconsin integrates some civics knowledge into its social studies curriculum, unlike most other states it does not require a stand-alone civics class. As the study’s author said, “the time may be ripe to start [the] conversation” about how a dedicated civics course could increase

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