S-1528.1          _______________________________________________


                                 SENATE BILL 5836



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Senators Rinehart and Bailey.


Read first time February 25, 1991.  Referred to Committee on Education.Requiring citizenship, dispute resolution, and problem solving curriculum.

     AN ACT Relating to education; adding new sections to chapter 28A.230 RCW; and creating a new section.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  (1) The legislature finds that the common schools of the state perform an integral role in helping students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become productive and socially responsible citizens.

     (2) The legislature further finds that as a result of the process of education, students should be able to possess and apply the knowledge, understanding, and skills needed for full and effective participation in a democratic society, including development of an awareness of and concern for the rights and well-being of others.  The process of education should also expose students to the concept and importance of community service and instruct them in methods to resolve disputes and solve problems.

     (3) The legislature declares that school districts should examine their curricular programs for citizenship education, dispute resolution, and problem solving content.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  Every school district board of directors shall adopt a written policy on citizenship education.  The policy shall address the extent to which the curriculum and activities of the district enable students to possess and apply the knowledge, understanding, and skills needed for effective participation in a democratic society and in a pluralistic, interdependent world.  Such curriculum and activities may include, but are not limited to the following:

     (1) Academic disciplines such as, including but not limited to:  History, including the social significance of state and national holidays; geography, social studies, including sociology and the role of the media in society; and political science, including civics and the study of the United States and Washington state Constitutions required under RCW 28A.230.170;

     (2) Character education, including instruction about:  The concepts of courage, including conviction of thoughts and action; honesty, honor, and justice; freedom of speech and tolerance of divergent viewpoints; self-discipline and personal industry; generosity, helpfulness, and compassion; and freedom of choice balanced by responsibility;

     (3) Societal education, including instruction about:  Contemporary social problems and issues; consumer and economic education; law-related education; and international or multicultural/multi-ethnic education;

     (4) Experiential education, including but not limited to:  Community service; volunteerism; leadership training; participation in governmental processes such as voting or voter registration; participation in foreign exchange programs; and cocurricular service activities; and

     (5) Dispute and conflict resolution, including but not limited to:

     (a) Improving dispute and conflict resolution skills and encouraging creative problem solving;

     (b) Providing information about other cultures and the roots and nature of conflict between cultures;

     (c) Communicating insight into how attitudes are formed and decisions are made;

     (d) Providing students with models of citizen involvement in democratic processes and international affairs;

     (e) Presenting to students, as is appropriate to their ages, a balanced discussion of the following topics:

     (i) The history of the arms race;

     (ii) The national and international policy perspectives on the development of weapons and the nature of armed conflict; and

     (iii) The applicability of conflict resolution skills to international affairs.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  (1) In adopting the policy pursuant to section 2 of this act, districts may and are encouraged to conduct a review to assess the extent to which the district's instructional materials and curriculum program include citizenship education.

     (2) In conducting any such curriculum review, a district may:  (a) Use a citizenship education advisory committee established for the specific purpose of conducting the review, which committee shall include members representing students, teachers, administrators, parents, the school board, local government, and the community; (b) use its instructional materials committee established under RCW 28A.320.230:  PROVIDED, That the district shall provide an opportunity for students, parents, local government officials, and business and labor representatives to participate in any meetings or hearings held by the instructional materials committee; (c) conduct the review as part of any annual goal-setting process the district has established pursuant to RCW 28A.320.220; or (d) conduct the review as part of the self-study provisions under RCW 28A.320.200.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall develop guidelines and a model curriculum for citizenship education, and by June 30, 1992, provide information about the model curriculum to local school districts through the educational service districts.  School districts shall be encouraged to evaluate the curriculum, adopt or modify the curriculum, and implement the curriculum.  The office of the superintendent of public instruction may field test the model curriculum.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  In complying with the requirements of sections 2 and 4 of this act, the office of the superintendent of public instruction shall consult and seek advice from representatives of at least the following:

     (1) Higher education;

     (2) School district boards of directors;

     (3) School superintendents;

     (4) School administrators;

     (5) Classroom teachers at both elementary and secondary levels;

     (6) School counselors;

     (7) Curriculum development organizations; and

     (8) Students.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  Sections 2 through 5 of this act are each added to chapter 28A.230 RCW.