Civic literacy matters. An informed citizenry is essential to a true democracy. The current educational system fails to adequately prepare citizens for the responsibilities of democratic citizenship. The simple test for civic literacy is the ability to make a strong case for both sides in the next election marshalling principles, facts, and solutions for each of the issues that the citizen thinks is so important it should influence her decision. The overwhelming majority of college graduates are incapable of doing so. This is a national disaster. But the solution is fairly simple. The backbone of the civics curriculum K through 12 should be weekly writing and public speaking exercises that address the most important issues of our time in a debating format. This is analogous to musical or athletic training which if begun early results in very impressive performance by age 14 and quasi- professional mastery by 18. True civic literacy demands mastery of the fundamentals of constitutional law, economics, ethics, history, political science, statistics, rhetoric, demography, engineering, and science. This is hard work. It can be done.