The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship is a partnership between the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government at the University of Central Florida and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida.
The Joint Center grew from a 2006 bipartisan effort, launched by Congressman Lou Frey and Senator Bob Graham, to improve civic education in Florida. The report that framed that initiative, Enlisting a New Generation of Florida Citizens, made five policy recommendations to strengthen civic education. They were to:
- Utilize the scheduled 2007 revision of the Sunshine State Standards in Social Studies to update and strengthen those guidelines so that schools give students all of the skills they need to be effective citizens.
- Test civics on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).
- Make civics instruction an essential part of teacher education at Florida’s colleges and universities and help teachers already in the classroom enhance their civics teaching skills and methods.
- Lead the nation in textbook improvement to improve instructional materials in civics as well as other core subjects.
- Establish a Strategic Center for Florida Citizenship.
Since 2006, with the help of many other organizations and people, the state’s Social Studies standards and benchmarks have been revised and strengthened, the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Education Act has added civics to Florida’s list of tested subjects, and the Joint Center has been established by formal agreement between the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida. The Joint Center is pleased to be one of many who are helping to restore the civic mission of Florida’s schools.