Guest Column Back to top.
In his guest commentary, STEVE CULBERTSON writes about the importance of youth service and notes the irony that, at a time when funding for service-learning has been eliminated from the proposed federal budget, there is more support at the state legislative and corporate levels.
What States Are Doing Back to top.
UTAH Governor Gary Herbert has signed House Bill 327 Substitute. The bill requires the State Board of Education to report annually to the Education Interim Committee on the methods used to instruct and prepare students on how to become informed and responsible citizens through an integrated curriculum taught in connection with regular school work.
NORTH CAROLINA has eliminated end-of-course testing in United States History and Civics and Economics. The action resulted from budgetary pressures. House Bill 48 became law without the governor's signature.
SOUTH DAKOTA Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed an executive order designating the South Dakota Nonprofit Association as South Dakota's Commission for National and Community Service. The Commission is empowered to act as the administrative organization for AmericCorps and other national service and volunteer programs across the state.
Good Reads Back to top.
Teachable Moments: Ethics and Reflection in Service-Learning, by Teddi Fishman and Lorilei Swanson, guides teachers through incorporating ETHICAL DECISIONMAKING into students' reflections. Find out more at publisher National Dropout Prevention Center/Network's Web site.
A new report from the National Council of La Raza looks at ways to combat the high unemployment and dropout rates of Latino Youth. Case studies include American YouthWorks (AYW) which operates a SERVICE LEARNING ACADEMY. Read more in Plugged In: Positive Development Strategies for Disconnected Latino Youth.
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has released a new policy paper by CIRCLE Director Peter Levine. Civic Engagement and Community Information: Five Strategies to Revive CIVIC COMMUNICATION "calls on community and elected leaders to adopt sensible strategies to strengthen civic communication and citizen engagement." Among the strategies put forth is a Civic Information Corps.
In Failing Liberty 101: How We Are Leaving Young Americans UNPREPARED FOR CITIZENSHIP in a Free Society, author William Damon says we are failing to prepare the youth of today to assume their responsibilities as the next generation of citizens.
NCLC News Back to top.
The NCLC Executive Board met for their semiannual meeting on July 8-9, 2011, in Denver, Colorado. Members also had the opportunity to take part in the ECS National Forum on Education Policy. During the two-day board meeting, members held deep discussions about the NCLC STRATEGIC PLAN and related goals and objectives. While members expressed their concerns about the elimination of funding for Learn and Serve and the low scores on the NAEP Civics Test, the consensus at the end of the day was a renewed sense of purpose and optimism.
One of the best-attended sessions at the ECS National Forum was "NO WAITING FOR SUPERMAN: Engaged Learning Within Reach of Every School!" moderated by NCLC project leader, Paul Baumann. Jim Kielsmeier, founder of NYLC and adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, set the stage, talking from a broad, national perspective on the benefits and policy implications of engaged education, including service-learning and other experiential approaches. Audience members then got to see what quality service-learning looks like on the ground from Peter Evans, principal at Montpelier High School in Vermont. To view the PowerPoint, click on the link.
Meetings & Events Back to top.
The nationwide effort to save funding for service is holding a District Day on August 10. Supporters of national service will visit the district offices of their members of Congress to make the case for continued funding for service programs. For more information and to sign up to participate, visit the SAVE SERVICE IN AMERICA Web site.
Peter Levine blogs about the recent FRONTIERS OF DEMOCRACY Conference, held at Tufts University, July 21-23. Especially interesting are the wide-ranging descriptors of democracy and civic engagement. Levine's blog is a bittersweet commentary on the conference and the times we live in.
The 10th Annual Hawaii INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION will be held January 5-8, 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The conference will provide many opportunities for academicians and professionals from education related fields to interact with members inside and outside their own particular disciplines. The deadline for submission of proposals is August 12, 2011. Cross-disciplinary submissions with other fields are welcome.
Registration is now open for the 66th Annual NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CITIZENSHIP. The 2011 Conference will consist of a series of events to be held during Citizenship week, beginning September 15 in Philadelphia and culminating September 22-23 in Arizona. Visit the Web site to learn more and to register.
Names in the News Back to top.
PATRICIA O'NEILL was featured in "Roadmap to Reform," an article in the June issue of American School. O'Neill is a member of NCLC's District Leader Network and serves on the Montgomery County School Board in Rockville, Maryland.
Two NCLC Board members are retiring from their "day jobs," but continue to work vigorously in the cause of citizenship education and service-learning. GLENYS HILL has retired after 12 years at the helm of Kelso School District, Washington. Oregon City School District saw the retirement of ROGER RADA after seven years with that district. These two dedicated administrators have each served public education for 40 years!
DARLENE RUSCITTI was influential in the passage of Illinois Senate Resolution (S.149), supporting the Illinois Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools' "Democracy Schools" initiative and recommending that the state's "School Report Cards" note if a school has received the "Democracy School" distinction. The Illinois Democracy School initiative provides recognition to those Illinois schools that provide high quality civic learning for all students. Ruscitti, a member of the NCLC District Leaders Network, is superintendent of DuPage County Schools.
Other Useful Web sites Back to top.
Every 26 seconds in America, a student drops out of high school. State Farm has launched a campaign to address this startling statistic and engage those who can most directly affect change — young people themselves. The campaign, titled "26 SECONDS," will use interests – like music, sports and video – to engage youth. It provides an online venue for youth to express feelings on the issue and creatively share thoughts and talents — encouraging them and their peers to make graduation a priority so they become more than a statistic. The program's tagline "BMOR" underscores this call to action. The campaign is online and on Facebook. For more information, check out the youth-oriented Web site.
Take a look at CLASS ACT, a half-hour television show that highlights the best practices and school culture of Detroit Service Learning Academy. The show will give viewers an honest, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to become an award winning, high-performing, Beating the Odds, School of Excellence. You can see the Class Act trailer on this YouTube video.
International Focus Back to top.
More findings from the 2009 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) have been released. The new report, ICCS 2009 LATIN AMERICAN REPORT: Civic knowledge and attitudes among lower-secondary students in six Latin American countries, focuses on Mexico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Columbia, Paraguay and Chile. The 2009 study considered how well young people are prepared for their roles as citizens and found, among other things, noteworthy differences between high and low achievers and between males and females. The study focused on countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Initial findings were reported in June, 2010, and can be found on the IEA Web site.