Two schools get Civics recognition

Posted 10/12/18

Two local high schools were recently honored as 2018 U.S. Civics All-Star Schools by the Tennessee Department of Education. All who graduated from Cleveland High School and the F.I. Denning …

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Two schools get Civics recognition


Two local high schools were recently honored as 2018 U.S. Civics All-Star Schools by the Tennessee Department of Education. 

All who graduated from Cleveland High School and the F.I. Denning Center of Technology and Careers with regular diplomas this year earned passing grades on their U.S. civics tests. This is the second consecutive year these schools’ graduates have celebrated this achievement. 

“Learning civics is an important component for our graduates to leave CHS and be functional contributors to society,” said Autumn O’Bryan, principal of Cleveland High School. “We are so proud of our teachers and students for their work in the classroom.”

In 2015, state legislators passed House and Senate Bill 10, which said students graduating from Tennessee high schools must take a test containing questions “from the civics portion of the United States citizenship test administered by the United States citizenship and immigration services.” 

This test is prepared by each school district and given to students at least once between grades 9 and 12. Passing this test is not a graduation requirement, but schools whose graduates do achieve a 100 percent pass rate are named U.S. Civics All-Star Schools.

The state law requiring the tests be given took effect Jan. 1, 2017, and students in the Class of 2017 were the first to have the opportunity to earn All-Star status. The Class of 2018 at the two local schools followed in the Class of 2017’s footsteps. 

“As John Adams stated, ‘Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right … and a desire to know,’” said Dr. Russell Dyer, director of Cleveland City Schools. “I am proud of our students and teachers at Cleveland High School, and our former F.I. Denning Center, for achieving the 2018 U.S. Civics All-Star status. This is a huge achievement and shows our commitment to ensuring the principles of democracy are understood by our students.” 

This year, the F.I. Denning Center celebrated its final graduating class, as the Cleveland Board of Education last year moved to reincorporate the school’s credit recovery program with Cleveland High School. Educators at Cleveland High School now have the opportunity to help all the district’s high school graduates become 2019 Civics All-Stars. 

The two local schools were among 143 Tennessee high schools which became U.S. Civics All-Star Schools this year, according a list from the Tennessee Department of Education. No other schools in Bradley, McMinn or Polk County made the list this year. 


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