Guest Column Back to top.
Anthony Welch, chairman of the National Service-Learning Partnership, reflects on lessons learned from the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT and their applicability to citizenship education and service-learning.
What States Are Doing Back to top.
In CONNECTICUT, Governor John Rowland signed Senate Bill 646, which establishes a state-wide student voter registration drive and encourages students to learn about civics and participate in the political process.
Passage of House Bill 30 in ILLINOIS requires the State Board of Education and State Board of Elections to jointly develop a program for K-12 students in participating school districts and counties to vote in a simulated election conducted at actual polling places in conjunction with the general election.
In CALIFORNIA, Senate Bill 719, recently adopted by the Assembly and Senate, will establish the School/Law Enforcement Partnership. One duty of the partnership is to sponsor at least two regional conferences each year to identify exemplary programs and techniques to reduce school crime and absenteeism. Citizenship education is cited as a topic that may be included in the conference.
Good Reads Back to top.
NCLC board member and Santa Barbara Superintendent of Schools Bill Cirone's "Helping Children Become RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS" has been featured in a number of publications within California and across the nation.
The Representative Democracy in America Project recently issued a report based on a survey of 15- to 26-year-olds that showed they are less likely than older adults to value voting or the way government works. It also revealed that students who have taken a CIVICS CLASS place more value on engaging in public life.
The National Conference of State Legislatures recently launched a new, Web-based searchable database of STATE LEGISLATION on civic education. It will be updated every two weeks during the 2004 legislative session.
New Center Publications Back to top.
Interviews with two chief state school officers, Elizabeth Burmaster of Wisconsin and Inez Tenenbaum of South Carolina, on the connection between CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION and SERVICE-LEARNING are now posted to the NCLC Web site.
NCLC recently released an updated ECS StateNote documenting state policies on recitation of the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE in schools.
NCLC News Back to top.
NCLC chair-elect Elizabeth Burmaster and board member Doug Hart spoke on panels at the First Annual Congressional Conference on CIVIC EDUCATION, held September 20-22 in Washington, DC, about civic engagement and civic education. NCLC chairman Randy Collins and board members Marilyn Howard and Shelley Berman also participated in the meeting. Terry Pickeral and Susan Vermeer represented
NCLC at the event.
The NCLC is currently working to develop a set of citizenship education POLICY TOOLS for states. The set will include an online 50-state searchable database; policy briefs on citizenship education at the state, district and school levels; a set of student competencies on citizenship education; and four approaches of state policy support for citizenship education. The tools will be released on the NCLC Web site beginning in November 2003.
Meetings & Events Back to top.
The NCLC is hosting a series of "Professional Judgment Groups" throughout the fall and winter to build upon the work of the May 2003 Thinkers Meeting on CIVIC COMPETENCIES and develop a series of POLICY OPTIONS for states to consider. Upcoming meetings are scheduled in Denver on November 6-7, December 4-5 and January 15-16. For more information, contact Susan Vermeer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
America's Youth Forum 2004, a nationwide CIVIC ENGAGEMENT pilot project hosted by The New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College and USA TODAY, is hosting a youth forum with presidential primary candidates for participating classes on November 20, 2003. Students will research issues and prepare questions to ask candidates at the forum.
Other Useful Web sites Back to top.
The NATIONAL SERVICE-LEARNING PARTNERSHIP aims to advance service-learning as a core element of the educational experience for every elementary, middle and secondary school student in the United States. Its Web site contains a variety of publications, advocacy tools and other information on service-
KID SERVE is an arts education program that guides students in grades 2-12 through the design and creation of permanent outdoor murals in their communities, integrating social justice, creativity and community service. Students have created over 20 murals in San Francisco alone, taking leadership roles in beautifying their communities.
International Focus Back to top.
Journalists from Madagascar are filming a documentary on the ways the U.S. TEACHES CIVICS. Schools in Madagascar are beginning to add civics to the curriculum and the documentary is intended to show new ways to teach civics and encourage civic participation.
A recent article in the Toronto Star details activities of student groups that link politics and issues such as tuition and class size in an effort to increase VOTER TURNOUT among students.