Guest Column Back to top.
This month's guest column is contributed by WENDY PURIEFOY, president and CEO of Public Education Network (PEN). According to Wendy, public education is "the very foundation" of our nation's great public institutions. Read more from this passionate advocate of public education.
Good Reads Back to top.
To Dream Again by Anthony Welch, originally published in 2004, is now being offered as a free download at its revised and updated Web site. Welch notes, "My hope is that a constructive dialogue about POSITIVE CHANGE in America can take place this year, and that To Dream Again can play some small role in that."
College students in the United States are hungry for POLITICAL CONVERSATION that is authentic, involves diverse views, and is free of manipulation and "spin," according to a new report released November 7, 2007 by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) and The Charles F. Kettering Foundation.
In a culture where a school's performance is defined by students' standardized test scores, civic education has been overshadowed. Yet new empirical research by the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago shows that what happens in the classroom is vitally important in developing CIVICALLY COMMITTED YOUNG PEOPLE - far more important than the backgrounds or extracurricular activities of students. Educating for Democracy: Lessons from Chicago is a new report/working paper by Joe Kahne and Susan Sporte.
The Kentucky Commissioner's Parent Advisory Council (CPAC) has issued a report recommending that the Kentucky Department of Education take major steps to implement the objectives defined by the Kentucky Parent Advisory Council, including adopting a "customer satisfaction" training module for school districts and establishing COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT COUNCILS at the school, district and state levels.
NCLC News Back to top.
NCLC hosted its semi-annual board meeting January 11, 2008, in Denver, Colorado. NCLC celebrated its 10th anniversary by recognizing the organization's and members' achievements over the past 10 years. The board members reviewed progress on the NCLC CHAIR'S INITIATIVE, which focuses on research and advocacy, and identified national, state and district-level organizations to assist in the implementation of the initiative. The board also determined a process and timeline for selecting 10 "laboratory schools" that have successfully sustained quality civic engagement and service-learning; a Request for Proposal (RFP) will be disseminated early fall and schools selected by December 2008. The inaugural meeting of the laboratory schools will be in January 2009.
NCLC was one of 15 finalist nominees for the 2007 CARL BERTELSMANN PRIZE. The Prize is awarded by the Bertelsmann Foundation in Germany and encourages innovative solutions to social problems. Of the programs originally identified, 68 fulfilled the criteria set out for potential prizewinners. In the course of its international search efforts, which included 12 countries, the prize committee identified a number of policy initiatives and strategies which are geared toward increasing civic engagement among children and adolescents, and which also provide opportunities for them to get involved in their communities.
The Education Commission of the States, through the National Center for Learning and Citizenship, designed and facilitated the MISSISSIPPI TEEN SUMMIT on dropout prevention titled Destination Graduation, January 15, 2008 in Jackson, Mississippi.
Meetings & Events Back to top.
100 DISTRICT LEADER NETWORK members who are attending the AASA National Conference on Education in Tampa will meet Thursday, February 14, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Members of the 100 DISTRICT LEADER NETWORK who are attending the National School Boards Association Annual Conference in Orlando will meet Saturday, March 29, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
What is described as the largest gathering of youths and practitioners from the SERVICE-LEARNING MOVEMENT takes place April 9 - 12, 2008 in Minneapolis at the 19th Annual Service-Learning Conference. Complete conference information is on the National Youth Leadership Council's Web site.
NCLC is hosting an ADMINISTRATOR ACADEMY during the conference. District and school leaders will explore ways service-learning contributes to students' academic achievement and civic, social and career development. Check the conference Web site for more details on the Administrator Academy and to register for the conference.
State College Area High School in Pennsylvania has been named School of the Month, January 2008, by the Pennsylvania Coalition for Representative Democracy. The school and district sent team members to the 2007 Education Leadership Colloquium (ELC) and ELC Team Leader LOU ANN EVANS credits work done at the 2007 ELC with contributing to the designation. Evans serves on the State College Area School District Board and is a member of the 100 District Leaders for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning.
Names in the News Back to top.
DR. ART STELLAR, Superintendent of the Taunton Public Schools, was selected as a winner of the 2007 National Dropout Prevention Network's Crystal Star Award for Excellence for Distinguished Service and Leadership. Stellar is a member of the NCLC 100 District Leaders for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning.
Updates from NACE Back to top.
Citizenship Matters regularly features new information available on the NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR CIVIC EDUCATION'S (NACE) Web site. NACE comprises over 200 group and individual members committed to advancing civic knowledge and engagement.
Other Useful Web sites Back to top.
LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOR PRINCIPALS: Principals who are committed to sustaining quality opportunities for student success and civic engagement may be eligible to become a member of the inaugural class of Five Freedoms Leadership Fellows, a select group of K-12 public and independent school leaders committed to providing a more equitable, collaborative and transformational type of school leadership - and to cultivating the 21st century skills young people need to be responsible members of a free society.
The CENTER FOR MULTICULTURAL COOPERATION promotes educational programs for social and civic responsibility, service-learning, media, art, history and multicultural cooperation. They mobilize young people to become civically engaged, use technology to serve their community, and honor the ideals and legacy of those whose stories they preserve.
Give Kids Good Schools.org has advice and tools for voters as they evaluate candidates for office, among them TOP 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK ELECTED OFFICIALS.
Award-winning young adult novelist Justina Chen Headley, Burton Snowboards and Youth Venture are co-sponsoring the GO OVERBOARD CHALLENGE GRANT to fund the best youth-led ideas to change the world. Eligibility: students ages 12-20 who have an idea to improve their school, neighborhood, city, country or the world. Students need an adult sponsor, such as a librarian or teacher, to endorse their grant application. Deadline: May 1, 2008