Guest Column Back to top.
Jeffery Miller recently spent some time in the United Kingdom where he observed several innovative programs involving young people from disadvantaged communities in community leadership and decision-making. Read his reflection on what he learned and how it can apply to engaging young people in the CIVIC LIFE of their communities in the United States.
What States Are Doing Back to top.
UTAH Governor Gary Herbert has signed into law House Bill 269 Substitute. The bill requires each school district and the State Charter School Board to submit a summary report to the lieutenant governor and Commission on Civic and Character Education on how civic and character education are achieved in the school district or charter schools through an integrated school curriculum and in the regular course of school work.
KENTUCKY Governor Steven Beshear has signed into law House Bill 192 which requires secondary schools to provide information to 12th-grade students on how to register to vote, vote in an election using a ballot and vote using an absentee ballot. It permits a school to provide this information through classroom activities, written materials, electronic communication, Internet resources, participation in mock elections and other methods identified by the principal after consulting with teachers.
In NORTH CAROLINA, House Bill 48 became law without Governor Beverly Perdue's signature. The measure eliminates statewide standardized testing in public schools, except as required by federal law or as a condition of a federal grant. Affected are end-of-course exams in Civics and Economics and U.S. History.
Good Reads Back to top.
The Carnegie Corporation of New York has issued a report focusing on results of their grant making since 2002 in the program area of YOUTH CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. Carnegie Review A New Civic Mission of Schools examines the development of Carnegie's civic learning program and the lessons learned, and includes reflections by key leaders in the field.
Communicating with Congress PERCEPTIONS OF CITIZEN ADVOCACY on Capitol Hill is a new survey of 260 congressional staff gauging Capitol Hill opinions on the various influences on lawmakers' decisions, the impact of the Internet on the Congress and public policy, and how Congress views and uses social media. This report is based on an online survey conducted in the Fall 2010.
This may not fall under the heading "Good Reads," more like Important Read. The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) recently released the "Nation's Report Card on Civics." Click on the link below for comments from Ted McConnell, executive director of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, and Peter Levine, director of The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, as well as a link to the NAEP CIVICS REPORT CARD.
NCLC News Back to top.
Seventeen member schools of the ECS National Center for Learning and Citizenship Schools of Success (SoS) participated in a SCHOOLS OF SUCCESS SHOWCASE in Nashville, Tennessee, May 4-6. Schools were represented by teachers, principals, service-learning coordinators and district administrators.
NCLC staff members Paul Baumann and Ann Rautio served as evaluators in Thornton (Colorado) High School's Annual PROJECT CITIZEN SHOWCASE, involving over 500 students. The event gave students the opportunity to give presentations on public policy problems which they had selected and researched. Groups of students presented their policy problem, explained its importance, and then examined various alternative policies that address the issue or solve the problem. Lastly, students explained how they would proceed in implementing the policy. The winner of this showcase advanced to the Colorado Project Citizen Showcase.
Seventh- and 8th-grade students from RAYMOND SCHOOL in Wisconsin have been working on a bike safety project that included an educational program and writing a Safe Routes to School planning grant. They were awarded the grant and now will present at the National Safe Routes to School Conference in Minneapolis in August. The presentation will focus on student empowerment and how the students drove this project. Raymond School is a member of ECS' NCLC Schools of Success.
Meetings & Events Back to top.
Plan to attend the ECS 2011 NATIONAL FORUM ON EDUCATION POLICY, July 6-8 in Denver, Colorado. Why should you attend? Here are just two of the stellar plenaries you will hear:
• How Thinking in Pictures Provides Perspective, by Temple Grandin, animal behavioral scientist, Colorado State University
• Brain Rules and What They Mean for Education, with John Medina, developmental molecular biologist, University of Washington School of Medicine and author of the bestselling book, Brain Rules, and the newly released, Brain Rules for Baby.
To learn more and register now, visit the ECS Web site.
As the spring meeting season got underway, a number of CONFERENCE PRESENTERS represented ECS' NCLC. Presentations by members of the NCLC staff, the Executive Board, the Schools of Success and the District Leaders Network covered a wide variety of topics from political will to policy to curriculum. Read the "Who?" and the "What?" by clicking on the link below.
The NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CITIZENSHIP (NCoC) 66th Annual Conference will be held on the campus of Arizona State University September 22-23, 2011. This will mark the first time NCoC's Annual Conference will be convened outside of Washington D.C. By doing so, NCoC hopes to bridge the conversation between local initiatives and national needs. Save the date and look on their Web site for registration information soon.
The Character Education Partnership is convening the 18th National Forum on Character Education, October 19-22, 2011, in San Francisco. "BUILDING ETHICAL COMMUNITIES" will feature keynote speakers Hal Urban, General Dana Born and two students from the Special Olympics Youth Activation Committee. For more information, visit the Web site.
Names in the News Back to top.
DR. SHELDON BERMAN has been selected as superintendent of Eugene School District 4J in Eugene, Oregon. Berman is a member of NCLC's Executive Board and District Leaders Network.
MERRITT ROBINSON, an educator at duPont Manual High School, has been awarded the Kentucky Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award for having demonstrated outstanding leadership in the classroom by promoting and strengthening civic education and by providing students the opportunity to be active engaged citizens in their communities. Under her leadership in the classroom, Robinson's students raised funds to purchase goats for families in Darfur and conducted a Service Learning Celebration Fair that included 182 different projects on display. DuPont Manual High School is a member of NCLC's Schools of Success.
GAIL ROMIG, Park Forest Elementary in State College, Pennsylvania, is one of 85 winners of the 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Romig, who was nominated by her principal, teaches math in what has been characterized by a student as a challenging but relaxed way. She gives students engaging problem-solving strategies such as the Math Menu, which helps to create a common language. Park Forest Elementary School is a member of NCLC's Schools of Success.
The Oregon Historical Society has introduced a service-learning curriculum based on the vision and leadership of former Oregon governor TOM MCCALL. The curriculum teaches about McCall's leadership and The Oregon Story. McCall was ECS Chair 1969-70.
Other Useful Web sites Back to top.
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the Jane Goodall Institute's global environmental and humanitarian program for P-20 youth, has launched an ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICE-LEARNING CURRICULUM. Created in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, it combines best practices from the Institute's community-centered approach with the latest service-learning techniques. And it's available online at no cost to educators! The curriculum and associated resources are at the Web site.
The Ohio-West Virginia State YMCA (a.k.a. HI-Y Leadership Center) develops young civic leaders with a life-long commitment to responsible citizenship. Since 1867, their hands-on learning approach continues to enable persons to be positive change agents in their communities. A pioneer in YOUTH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT based on service-learning principles, this YMCA has made youth a priority. Visit their Web site for more information about their programs.
KIDS CONSORTIUM has a full schedule of summer Service-Learning Institutes. Check their Web site for dates, details and registration information.
International Focus Back to top.
Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) and the International Association for National Youth Service (IANYS) have released the final report from the 9th Global Conference, held in Alexandria, Egypt in October, 2010. According to ICP, "this Final Report aims to illustrate the diverse contributions of participants and presenters at the conference, synthesize the core issues and themes discussed, and highlight future steps in key areas to further the impact and success of YOUTH SERVICE AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT in communities around the world." Visit the Conference Web site.