Rule 6A-10.02413, Florida Administrative Code, Civic Literacy Competency
Implementation Questions and Answers
1. To whom does the civic literacy requirement apply?
* The Florida Department of Education (Department) anticipates entering into rule development to add the civic literacy requirement as a condition of A.S./A.A.S. degree completion to coincide with general education changes from House Bill 1507, which will be effective with the 2022-23 catalog year.
2. Does “initially entering” mean the same thing as first-time-in-college (FTIC)?
No. The rule that is applicable for 2018-19 to 2020-21 specified the requirement was limited to FTIC students. Since the statute does not specify the civic literacy requirements are limited to that small population, the FTIC language was removed for 2021-22 students and beyond. This ensures students who are entering under 2021-22 catalog years will meet the statutory intent to demonstrate civic literacy competency.
3. Are there state requirements governing policies on catalog year and readmits?
No. Policies and procedures relating to assigning catalog years are left to institutions to determine.
4. Can you clarify how the amended rule applies to students who were previously dual enrolled?
The new civic literacy requirement applies to students who are entering into A.A. and baccalaureate programs under the 2021-22 catalog year, regardless of prior postsecondary coursework. This includes formerly dual enrolled students.
5. Can you clarify how the amended rule applies to transfer students?
The new civic literacy requirement applies to students who are entering into A.A. and baccalaureate programs under the 2021-22 catalog year, regardless of prior postsecondary coursework. This includes transfer students and students entering with prior postsecondary coursework. Students who have previously achieved a passing score on an approved assessment or passed an approved course will have met the assessment requirement or coursework requirement, respectively, and will not need to re-take assessments or courses.
6. Can you clarify how the amended rule applies to out-of-state students?
The new civic literacy requirement applies to students who are entering into A.A. and baccalaureate programs under the 2021-22 catalog year, regardless of prior postsecondary coursework. This includes students from out-of-state.
7. How does this rule apply to baccalaureate students who are entering with an A.A. or A.S./A.A.S. degree?
Baccalaureate students under the 2021-22 catalog year are required to meet the civics course and assessment requirement. If the student previously demonstrated civic literacy competency based on the previous civic literacy requirement through a course or an assessment under their associate degree program, those passed courses or passing scores could also be used toward demonstration of civic literacy competency for baccalaureate completion. The student would then just need to fulfill the other requirement via an assessment or course.
8. What is the relationship between changes to general education core courses and updates to the civic literacy competency requirement as it relates to A.S./A.A.S. students?
The Department anticipates entering into rule development in spring 2022 to add the civic literacy requirement as a condition of A.S./A.A.S. degree completion. It is expected these changes would apply to A.S./A.A.S. students entering under the 202223 catalog year, to coincide with general education changes from House Bill 1507. As institutions are modifying their course sequencing and curricula to align with general education core courses, they are encouraged to consider the civic literacy course requirement, which can be fulfilled through POSX041 American Government or AMHX020 Introductory Survey Since 1877.
Approved Courses and Assessments
9. How does credit-by-exam apply toward the civic literacy requirement?
Credit received for courses in Rule 6A-10.02413, F.A.C., (AMHX020 and POSX041) via credit-by-exam will count toward the course requirement. If the exam used as the basis of awarding of credit is in Rule 6A10.02413, F.A.C., (e.g., AP and CLEP), the student would be considered as having met both the course and the assessment civic literacy competency. If the exam used as the basis of awarding of credit is not in rule (e.g., AICE and IB), the student would be considered as having met only the course requirement. These students would need to be assessed using an approved assessment in rule.
10. How long are assessment scores valid? Is there an expiration date?
The rule does not specify expiration dates of test scores.
11. Can additional postsecondary courses be added to the list of those approved to meet the civic literacy requirement?
Yes. The Department welcomes dialogue regarding the inclusion of additional courses that meet the competencies outlined in statute.
12. What if my institution does not have enough course sections available to meet student demand?
Students have the option of taking the course at another institution as a transient student. Visit FloridaShines.org for more information. Keep in mind the civic literacy requirement is a graduation requirement, and a student may take the course any semester if not available during a particular semester.
13. If students complete AMHX020 or POSX041, do they still need to complete an assessment?
Yes. Completion of AMHX020 or POSX041 only fulfills the course requirement for postsecondary civic literacy competency for students entering the FCS under the 2021-22 catalog year and thereafter.
14. Does the final exam in AMHX020 or POSX041 count toward meeting the assessment requirement?
No. Because final exams in courses are not approved by the State Board of Education (SBOE), they do not count toward the assessment requirement. These students would still be required to pass an approved assessment in Rule 6A-10.02413, F.A.C.
15. Can institutions make passing the new Florida Civic Literacy Examination (FCLE) a condition of passing either AMHX020 or POSX041?
There is nothing prohibiting institutions from requiring a passing score on the FCLE as a condition for passing an approved course. However, institutions should give consideration to the logistics of obtaining test results for faculty, what happens if a student needs to retake the exam after the term ends, if a student passed the course content but did not pass the exam and then must retake the entire course, etc.
16. What are some examples of how institutions can provide opportunities for students to engage synchronously in political discussions and civil debates?
Course lectures with discussion, discussion groups, registered student organizations (e.g., speech or debate club, Student Government Association), guest speaker series, community partnership events, service learning, internships, etc.
Florida Civic Literacy Examination
17. How was the Florida Civic Literacy Examination (FCLE) developed?
In 2018, the Office of Assessment worked with the State University System (SUS) Board of Governors (BOG) and the Florida College System (FCS) to develop the Florida Civic Literacy Test. The Department partnered with the Lou Frey Institute (LFI) for content area and test development expertise. After working with LFI on item review and edits to address bias, accuracy and readability, the Department had
subject matter experts (SMEs) review the items and conducted Bias and Sensitivity/Validation committee meetings. Following a final review by LFI, the Department approved the initial Florida Civic Literacy Test. • In early 2021, the Department began the process to revise the test and create the FCLE, as well as take steps to increase test security. A review was conducted by 30 content experts representing faculty from FCS, SUS, LFI, and the Bill of Rights Institute in July 2021. • Beginning in late fall 2021, the revised test – known as the Florida Civic Literacy Examination – will be available as a secure computer-based assessment as part of the Office of Assessment’s contract with Cambium Assessment, Inc. (CAI).
18. What competencies does the FCLE cover? How will faculty members teaching AMHX020 or POSX041 know the content to cover in the courses that will prepare the students for the FCLE?
Test items for the FCLE are based on competencies that describe the content to be covered by a test. • FCLE competencies cover the knowledge necessary to demonstrate the postsecondary requirement for civic literacy, as outlined in statute: o Understanding of the basic principles and practices of American democracy and how they are applied in our republican form of government. o An understanding of the United States Constitution and its application. o Knowledge of the founding documents and how they have shaped the nature and functions of our institutions of self-government. o An understanding of landmark Supreme Court cases, landmark legislation and landmark executive actions and their impact on law and society.
19. How many test questions appear on the FCLE?
Approximately 80 test items appear on the FCLE.
20. What is the passing score on the FCLE?
The passing score will remain at 60 percent, which is 48 correct out of 80. • Once there are sufficient impact (test results) data on the FCLE, the Department will proceed with a formal, scientific-based process to set new cut scores (“standard setting”). It is customary in postsecondary and other assessment programs to implement an interim cut score for a limited timeframe for new assessments, until which time sufficient impact data can be collected from a representative test-taking population. Typically, this interim score is based on a prior cut score for an earlier version of the assessment or one similar in content and scope, such as the 60% in this rule. Oftentimes, this interim/temporary cut score is lower than the eventual permanent score adopted in rule. This impact data collection period can be referred to as a “hold harmless” period in advance of formal standard setting and an eventual approved cut score.
21. When will the FCLE be available for institutional use and what is the cost?
The revised FCLE will be available beginning October 25, 2021, at no cost to institutions.
22. Will there be online test preparation resources?
Yes. All of the preparation material available for the current form applies to the newer form. Such materials can be accessed at the Postsecondary Civics Literacy page on the FDOE website. The Department will be working internally and with partners in the field to produce and publish additional study materials, including a dedicated FCLE practice test. Study materials will be validated by SMEs external to the Department, will align to the competencies, and will be at the same level of rigor and complexity of the items seen by examinees. Examinees or staff members who would like to become familiar with the CAI testing platform can access the Civics EOC Practice Test found here: https://flpt.tds.cambiumast.com/student/?a=Student.
23. What is the testing window?
This year’s window is October 25, 2021, through August 5, 2022, and will be expanded even further for 2022-2023.
24. Is there a limit to how many times a student may test?
The system allows an unlimited number of attempts.
25. What is the re-take policy?
The Department recommends 30 days between attempts; however, students can retest on the next day, if needed.
26. What testing accommodations will be available?
Accommodations will be available for the Florida Civic Literacy Examination, some beginning in fall 2021 with more available in spring 2022. The timeline for implementation and a description of allowed accommodations will be announced later.
27. Can institutions set up the assessment in their learning management systems?
No. The FCLE will need to be offered through the institution’s testing center or in an otherwise proctored environment via the CAI computer-based testing system.
28. If high school students pass the FCLE, will they have fulfilled both the assessment and the course requirements?
No. Students who pass the FCLE in high school will still be required to pass an approved course once they enter the FCS.
29. Do high school students who pass the FCLE have to also pass the high school U.S. government course to demonstrate civic literacy competency?
A passing score on the FCLE is what is required for students to meet the civic literacy assessment requirement, not the grade in the high school U.S. Government course.
30. How will FCS institutions know if a student passed the FCLE while enrolled in a public high school?
Effective October 4, 2021, the Florida Automated System for Transferring Education Records (FASTER) Interdistrict/Secondary Transcript was updated under I/S01 – Demographic Record, Item 39g. A value of ‘Y’ indicates the student earned a passing
score on the FCLE. These students will have met the postsecondary civic literacy assessment requirement.