Guest Column Back to top.
The California Civic Mission of Schools Forum showcases successful strategies that inform and motivate educators and administrators, and engenders organizational support for promoting RELEVANT CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION in schools. Art Fisher, service-learning coordinator for the Santa Barbara County Education Office, highlights several programs that underscore the link between service and citizenship.
What States Are Doing Back to top.
NEW HAMPSHIRE Governor John Lynch has signed into law House Bill 167, adding civics and economics to the required areas of assessment in the statewide improvement and assessment program. It specifies that the assessment will be conducted in grades 3-8 and one grade in high school.
In IOWA, Governor Chet Culver signed House Bill 618 which allows a county commissioner of elections to appoint high school students in good standing to serve as precinct election board members.
WASHINGTON Governor Christine Gregoire signed House Bill 1052 which acknowledges the importance of the legislative youth advisory council, and amends the selection process from legislative and executive appointment of council members to an application process overseen by the council. The bill also establishes the civic education travel grant program to provide travel grants to students participating in statewide, regional, national or international civic education competitions or events. The superintendent of public instruction will distribute grants from private donations or with amounts appropriated for this specific purpose.
Good Reads Back to top.
The IDAHO STATE CIVIC LEARNING SUMMIT featured a presentation by Margaret Branson, associate director of the Center for Civic Education. In her remarks, Branson addressed the "daunting challenges" faced by the United States, noting that "Unlike other nations united by blood, language, or religion, Americans are united by our values and principles."
A new report, The Learning Compact Redefined: A Call to Action, provides the impetus for educators, policymakers, parents, community leaders and other stakeholders to change the conversation about learning and schooling from reforming its structures to transforming its conditions so that each child can develop his/her strengths and restore his/her unique capacities for intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual learning. ASCD convened the COMMISSION ON THE WHOLE CHILD to create a broader definition of achievement and accountability that promotes the development of children who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.
Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP), a nonprofit organization that supports the promotion of youth civic participation through service, announces the release of a research report examining the presence of national YOUTH SERVICE POLICIES in 15 countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Main findings from the exploratory study reveal that while none of the 15 countries in this region has a government policy for involving youth in service, movements to develop such policies do exist in several of the countries. The report describes these movements, as well as key barriers to the development of policies, and concludes with recommendations to policymakers for the creation of such policies.
A new study from the Corporation for National and Community Service finds that volunteer work gives poor teenagers a BOOST IN CONFIDENCE that can propel them to college, but other teens are more likely volunteers. The group said it found poor youth are more likely to volunteer with religious organizations than with youth civic or leadership groups.
A new book by David Campbell, WHY WE VOTE, demonstrates that our communities shape our civic and political engagement and that schools are especially significant communities for fostering strong civic norms.
NCLC News Back to top.
NCLC was pleased to host an ECS Staff Talking Points on the role of leadership in education policy and practice. JAMES COMER, 1991 Conant Award Winner, and WILLIAM CIRONE, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools and NCLC board chair, along with ROD CHU, ECS interim president, engaged in a lively discussion on leaders' roles and strategies to ensure student success.
Meetings & Events Back to top.
The ECS NATIONAL FORUM ON EDUCATION POLICY takes place July 10-13, in Philadelphia. An outstanding group of presenters will engage ECS constituents in dialogue on cutting edge education policy issues. Early-bird registration and hotel deadline is June 8.
The National Center for Learning and Citizenship and the Center for Social and Emotional Education co-hosted a Thinkers Meeting on SCHOOL CLIMATE, April 26 and 27, 2007.
Teams from 10 states are preparing to attend the 2007 EDUCATION LEADERSHIP COLLOQUIUM (ELC) on the Civic Mission of American Education, July 10-11, 2007 in Philadelphia. The theme of this year's ELC is "Key Stakeholders: Involving Youth in Decisionmaking and Governance."
Names in the News Back to top.
NCLC board member SHELDON BERMAN has been selected as superintendent of Kentucky County Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in the country. Berman currently serves as superintendent of Hudson (MA) Public Schools, a post he has held for 14 years.
RANDALL COLLINS, NCLC board member and superintendent of Waterford, CT, schools, has been elected president of the American Association of School Administrators for 2007-08. He'll be officially installed on July 19 in Minneapolis at the AASA Summer Leadership Institute.
Greendale School District, whose superintendent is NCLC board member WILLIAM HUGHES, was ranked by Milwaukee Magazine in the May 2007 issue as the top K-12 school system among metro area schools. In its "Top Schools Rated" article, the magazine selected Greendale from 57 school districts in a five-county area. The study looked at student performance, spending per pupil and household income.
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 National Service-Learning Partnership will provide State Farm-funded grant awards of $2,500 to a school or a community-based organization working with a school to support the implementation of service-learning activities designed to promote ACADEMIC LEARNING AND FINANCIAL LITERACY, with a strong emphasis on understanding credit and credit cards.
The History Channel SAVE OUR HISTORY Grant Program inspires youth to become the preservationists in their communities. Museums, historic sites, historical societies, preservation organizations, libraries and archives are invited to partner with a local school or youth group and apply for funding to help preserve the history of their communities. Maximum Award: $10,000. Eligibility: 501(c)(3) history organizations. Deadline: June 1, 2007.
Vermont Community Works announces its Summer Institute on Service-Learning, July 24-29, 2007, at Shelburne Farms, Vermont. Service-learning is the focus, with an emphasis on EDUCATING FOR SUSTAINABILITY. The Institute supports K-16 and community educators -- beginner to advanced -- at the classroom, program and site level.