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The ECS National Center for Learning and Citizenship (NCLC) assists
state and district policymakers and educators developing policies
that support K-12 school-based service-learning opportunities. These
educational experiences help students acquire the skills, values,
knowledge and practice necessary to be effective citizens. The NCLC
identifies and analyzes policies and practices that support effective
citizenship education, creates and disseminates publications for
education stakeholders, and convenes meetings to develop a collective
voice for citizenship education and civic mission of schools. NCLC
also encourages policy support and system structures to integrate
service-learning into schools and communities. For more information,
Welcome to CITIZENSHIP MATTERS, from the NATIONAL
CENTER FOR LEARNING AND CITIZENSHIP (NCLC) at the EDUCATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATES (ECS). This bimonthly newsletter focuses on ECS' work in
improving citizenship education in our nation's schools.
Guest Column The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is the perfect opportunity to advocate for school reform that leads to high-quality learning, highly effective teaching and fairness for all children. Sam Chaltain and RETHINK LEARNING NOW are leading a national conversation about schooling and what real learning looks like. To find out more, read his column. /clearinghouse/83/82/8382.pdf
In OKLAHOMA, Governor Brad Henry has signed into law House Bill 1756, which directs school districts to ensure that students have the opportunity to "to read and study the founding documents of America that are pertinent to understanding the principles, character and world view of America's founders." In addition, "students may voluntarily choose to read, write, share, report or otherwise study a topic that is religious in nature, provided other students are provided with the same opportunity to freely choose a topic." http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2009-10HB/HB1756_int.rtf
OREGON school districts that include a public high school are directed to adopt plans to encourage students to register to vote and to vote in elections. House Bill 3473, which requires the State Board of Education to incorporate voter registration skills into Essential Learning Skills, was signed by Governor Ted Kulongoski. http://www.leg.state.or.us/09reg/measpdf/hb3400.dir/hb3473.en.pdf
Good Reads A new report from Civic Enterprises concludes that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan had better transitions when they had an opportunity TO SERVE AGAIN at home. All Volunteer Force: From Military to Civilian Service was released in conjunction with the launch of ServiceNation's Mission Serve Initiative, which highlights the need to better use the talents and skills of veterans to meet the urgent needs of our communities. /clearinghouse/83/79/8379.pdf
The International Association for National YOUTH SERVICE met last November at the 8th Global Conference on National Youth Service in Paris. To access the conference report and a film, visit: http://www.icicp.org/ht/d/sp/i/1915/pid/1915
With the passage of the 2010 federal fiscal appropriations bill, which includes funding for the Summer of Service, it's a good time to read again the report issued previously by Innovations in Civic Participation, SUMMER OF SERVICE: A New American Rite of Passage? /clearinghouse/83/80/8380.pdf
New Center Publications A new publication in the ECS series The Progress of Education Reform (December 2009) highlights service-learning. Service-Learning: Why it Matters looks at four research studies that explore the IMPACT OF SERVICE-LEARNING on student achievement and civic engagement. http://www.ecs.org/docs/PER2009-Dec8x11.pdf
Meetings & Events The ADMINISTRATORS ACADEMY, March 25, at the 21st Annual National Service-Learning Conference in San Jose, California, will be an all-day opportunity for superintendents, principals and other school leaders to clarify how service-learning and youth engagement can become powerful allies in their instructional improvement plans. The Academy focuses on district and school leaders and how they can create greater district coherence that supports rigorous and engaged learning for all students. Participants will understand how their systems are positioned to support service-learning and the leadership opportunities and challenges inherent in this important work. For more information, please click on the link below. /clearinghouse/83/83/8383.pdf
Names in the News STEPHEN W. HEFNER, Superintendent of Richland Two School District (Columbia, S.C.) and NCLC Executive Board member, will retire at the end of the 2009-10 school year. A true educator and leader, Hefner has received numerous awards, most recently the Order of the Palmetto, the highest award for statewide accomplishment given by the governor of South Carolina.
PARK FOREST ELEMENTARY has been awarded the Elementary Martin Luther King, Jr. Award by Pennsylvania State University. Park Forest, in the State College Area School District, is a partner in NCLC's Schools of Success.
NCLC's District Leaders Network welcomed two new members: BILL DELBRUGGE, Superintendent of Flagler County (Florida) Schools and DAVID PICKLER, Chairman, Shelby County (Tennessee) Board of Education.
Members at the National Alliance of Black School Educators attended a panel discussion on the importance of youth voice on school boards. The panel, which included two youth leaders, was convened by MICHAEL D. SCOTT, SR., a member of NCLC's District Leaders Network. /clearinghouse/83/84/8384.pdf
Other Useful Web sites Spring and summer JOB OPPORTUNITIES are available from the Civic Education Project (CEP), a leadership and citizenship program of Northwestern University. CEP is looking for outstanding teachers and administrators from public and private schools and universities, service-learning practitioners, other education, nonprofit and youth development professionals, and graduate and undergraduate students. http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/cep/jobs/
Kids Can Make a Difference is an innovative educational program for middle school and high school students. It helps them understand the root causes of hunger and poverty and how they as individuals can TAKE ACTION. The major goal is to stimulate the students to take some definite follow-up actions as they begin to realize that one person can make a difference. http://www.kidscanmakeadifference.org/index.html
The Institute for Global Education & Service Learning (IGESL) is a nonprofit organization that provides service-learning training and technical assistance to schools, community organizations and national service programs. The IGESL creates service-learning program models and initiates activity-based education in COLLABORATION with schools and organizations around the world. Visit their Web site to learn more. http://www.igesl.org