Guest Column Back to top.
Teaching English to Palestinian students in the West Bank gave former Michigan State Representative Doug Hart an opportunity to involve his students in something they really cared about. Together, teacher and students redefined English classes and came up with an online magazine about life "Behind the Wall." Read how these young Palestinians FOUND THEIR VOICES and learned English at the same time.
What States Are Doing Back to top.
The VIRGINIA General Assembly adopted a joint resolution designating the third week in September as Civics Education Week. The resolution states that "the civic mission of schools is essential to the purpose of education" and "civic education teaches students the tools to maintain our democratic republic."
The WASHINGTON State Legislature adopted a joint resolution acknowledging the achievements of Washington History Day, a year long education program empowering teachers to improve history education to provide students with the understanding and skills to be engaged citizens and help them develop an appreciation of their heritage.
OREGON's first civic engagement conference was held in January. It was an opportunity to learn, share, inspire and be inspired. It was, according to participant Marilyn Walster, a call to action.
Good Reads Back to top.
Why We Still Need Public Schools: PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR THE COMMON GOOD highlights the history and importance of public education in the United States, dating back to its establishment as a necessary institution for the young republic and Horace Mann's efforts to promote a common school for all. The report focuses on how and why the U.S. system of public education came into being; the six core public missions that public schools have been expected to fulfill, such as unifying a diverse population, preparing people for democratic citizenship and ensuring equal opportunities for all children; and why these missions are relevant today and why the nation must maintain them while pursuing reforms to help all schools live up to these core ideals.
According to Charles Haynes and Marvin Berkowitz, "Reading and math are important, but if we care about our kids (and our future) shouldn't we be PAYING MORE ATTENTION to the kinds of human beings who do the math and read the books?" Read more in their recent USA Today Opinion Column.
A new report from the MAINE LEGISLATIVE YOUTH ADVISORY COUNCIL (LYAC) summarizes the input from two student forums held in the fall of 2006 and includes thoughts from LYAC members about policy priorities, which they presented to leadership for the Maine Legislature in January.
A survey by the Carnegie-Knight Task Force at Harvard University shows a strong movement in America's classrooms toward the use of Internet-based news and away from the use of newspapers and television news. Over one thousand social studies, civics and government teachers reported on their use of NEWS IN THE CLASSROOM, including trends in their use of particular media.
NCLC News Back to top.
Research and advocacy were the focus of the recent annual meeting of NCLC's 100 DISTRICT LEADERS for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning. The group of district superintendents and school board members looked at what the research shows for civic and academic outcomes of service-learning. Discussions also centered on making best use of research in district and state advocacy campaigns.
Meetings & Events Back to top.
NCLC and the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) are co-sponsoring a PRINCIPALS ACADEMY on March 29-30 at the National Service-Learning Conference in Albuquerque. School principals will meet with their peers to examine service-learning as an effective pedagogy for student academic achievement as well as civic, social and career development.
Names in the News Back to top.
Education lost a true supporter with the death of JUANITA HAUGEN on March 5. Juanita was a member of ECS' Steering Committee and of NCLC's 100 District Leaders for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning. A tireless advocate for school-community partnerships, at the time of her death, she was president of the Pleasanton, California school board. The first Juanita Haugen Civic Responsibility Award, established last year by the Pleasanton, California school board, will be presented this spring
Citizenship education and the civic mission of schools got an important boost last month when SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR addressed a meeting of the American Association of School Administrators. "To survive as a nation, it is vital that our schools teach--and our children understand--our system of government."
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.
The Coalition for Community Schools has established a national awards program to highlight the expansion and effectiveness of COMMUNITY SCHOOLS. Deadline to apply is March 22, 2007.
Project Learning Tree is expanding its GreenWorks! service-learning program. This year, $100,000 will be awarded to schools and youth organizations for environmental neighborhood improvement projects that INVOLVE YOUTH with their community. Proposals are due April 30.
State Farm and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are pleased to offer ten GOOD DECISIONS Service-Learning Grants. The $1000 grants, which can be used to develop local service-learning projects for the 2007-08 school year, must address one of the following: prevention of underage alcohol use, vehicle safety or adult impaired driving. The deadline for grant applications is May 1, 2007.
International Focus Back to top.
Innovations in Civic Participation and the Children & Youth Unit of the World Bank have published Youth Service: A Strategy for Youth and National Development. The paper examines how youth can envision themselves as AGENTS OF CHANGE and assets for their countries' futures. Also discussed is how youth service programs can transcend social divides and build bonds of trust, leading to nation-building and improved governance.
The First International Conference on Service-Learning in TEACHER EDUCATION will be held in Brussels, July 2007.