Guest Column Back to top.
NCLC Senior Advisor Judith Torney-Purta explains the rationale and process behind the new database of CIVICS ASSESSMENT ITEMS and instruments, and the school climate assessment instrument released in this edition of Citizenship Matters.
What States Are Doing Back to top.
VIRGINIA Governor Mark Warner signed House Bill 1769, creating the Virginia Commission on Civics Education. Its duties include identifying and offering technical assistance to civic education projects in the state, building a network of civic education professionals, and making recommendations to the Board of Education regarding revisions to the Standards of Learning for civics and government.
UTAH's House Concurrent Resolution 6 emphasizes the importance of legislators promoting greater understanding of the legislative process, and building public trust and confidence in representative democracy through civic education. It also encourages support of the Legislator's Back to School Program.
House Bill 268 creates the NEW MEXICO Government Education Fund. Funds are to be used for annual, week-long, high school civics courses focusing on New Mexico state government to be held at varying postsecondary educational institutions in New Mexico.
Good Reads Back to top.
The American Youth Policy Forum in partnership with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum released a report titled Restoring the Balance between Academics and Civic Engagement in Public Schools. This piece questions the current focus on core academic subjects at the expense of an equally important role -- preparing students to be engaged and effective citizens -- and is the product of discussion among policymakers, education practitioners, community groups, parents and youth across the nation. This report offers a seven-step action plan to help schools refocus on the goal of creating both academically proficient and CIVICALLY ENGAGED STUDENTS.
http://www.aypf.org/pdf/Restoring the Balance Report.pdf
Noting that CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY and YOUTH VOICE are often the least practiced elements of service-learning because they are the least understood and hardest to assess, John Minkler and Don Hill developed Teacher Tools for Civic Education and Service-Learning. This booklet contains two Meter tools that provide teachers with a list of the essential components of civic responsibility and youth voice in service-learning or other project-based activities.
Service-Learning NETWORK, the Constitutional Rights Foundation's bi-annual magazine, is now available online. Each issue explores a theme relevant to CLASSROOM-BASED SCHOOL and COMMUNITY SERVICE and includes feature articles from experts in the field, talking points for explaining and advocating service-learning, profiles of successful service-learning projects, and other resources of interest to educators, policymakers and community groups.
A new CIRCLE Fact Sheet by Judith Torney-Purta examines TEACHER PREPARATION for civic education as well as teacher attitudes towards civic education. In addition, it explores how teachers' educational experience relates to students' civic achievement and civic engagement. The fact sheet is based on data from the IEA Civic Education Study.
The Presidential Freedom Scholarships program, administered by Learn and Serve America at the Corporation for National and Community Service, provides Presidential recognition and a $1,000 COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP to high school juniors and seniors for their leadership in community service. The corporation provides $500, which must be matched with at least $500 secured by the high school from the community. Students must complete at least 100 hours of community service to be eligible for the scholarship. Up to 7,800 scholarships are being offered this year; application deadline is July 1, 2005.
New Center Publications Back to top.
With this edition of Citizenship Matters, NCLC releases a new resource designed to help state and district leaders, teachers and administrators assess student civic competencies and supportive school climates for civic learning. Resources include a searchable DATABASE of CIVICS ASSESSMENT items and a school climate assessment instrument.
The LEARNING THAT LASTS FIELD GUIDE is a new companion guide to Learning That Lasts: How Service-Learning Can Become an Integral Part of Schools, States and Communities. The guide provides specific strategies to move service-learning from the margin to the mainstream in American schools.
Meetings & Events Back to top.
Save the date of July 11-12, 2005, in Denver, Colorado, for the 5th Annual EDUCATION LEADERSHIP COLLOQUIUM (ELC) on the Civic Mission of American Education, where teams will focus on supporting effective citizenship education, service-learning and professional development for teachers. Then join the ECS National Forum on Education Policy, July 12-15, which will focus on a range of issues, including the latest on No Child Left Behind, arts education, early learning and more.
NCLC and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) co-hosted a session at NSBA's Annual Conference. Elizabeth Partoyan, NSBA, and Bill Hughes, NCLC board member and superintendent of schools in Greendale, Wisconsin, presented the session, "Civic Action: The Role of SCHOOL BOARDS To Advance Youth Engagement and the Civic Mission of Schools."
Names in the News Back to top.
On April 5, NCLC Chairman ELIZABETH BURMASTER was re-elected to a second term as Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction.
NCLC board members SHELLEY BERMAN, superintendent in Hudson, Massachusetts, and STEPHEN HEFNER, superintendent in Richland School District Two in Columbia, South Carolina, were named recipients of the President's Technology Award. The award, given by the American Association of School Administrators and Apple Computer, Inc., honors superintendents who demonstrate vision and leadership in educational technology.
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.
EDUCATORS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY has a new Online Teacher Center (OTC), providing teaching resources on issues related to international security, conflict resolution, peacemaking, violence prevention and social responsibility.
More than 30 national advocacy organizations have joined forces for improving policies and programs for children and youth. The new YOUTH POLICY ACTION CENTER provides young people with a platform on which to stand and be counted in national debate and dialogue.
International Focus Back to top.
Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) and the NCLC co-hosted a three-day seminar, CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION: SERVICE-LEARNING, POLITICAL LITERACY and Related Research, in Charleston, South Carolina, April 13–15, 2005. The seminar engaged 44 political and education leaders, teachers and community partners from the United States and the United Kingdom in deliberations and decisions to advance citizenship education in public schools.