Dreyfuss: Civics not being taught well


NEW YORK -- Richard Dreyfuss wants to show Americans how to be better citizens.

"The teaching of civics presently in the United States is dismal and startling," the Oscar-winning actor said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

Dreyfuss is launching a campaign to develop a civics curriculum for the nation's schools.

When he was a child, Dreyfuss said, civics classes taught not only the checks and balances in government but also the reasons behind the creation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

"We want to define the necessity of civics," he said. "What is it, and is it necessary? If it's necessary, is it urgent? And if it's urgent, what do we do? And then to proceed to literally design classes.

"It is time that we revive the notion that we can learn how to run the country and learn, not, you know, for Republicans and not for Democrats, but learn how to run the Constitution," he said.

Dreyfuss, who won a best actor Oscar for "The Goodbye Girl," also starred in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Mr. Holland's Opus."