Guest Column Back to top.
Elizabeth Partoyan, director of research, training and member services at the National School Boards Association, discusses the need to increase the number of district leaders committed to CIVIC LITERACY and the resulting implementation of the 100 District Leaders for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Network.
What States Are Doing Back to top.
NEW HAMPSHIRE Governor John Lynch signed S.B. 323, establishing a Legislative Youth Advisory Council which will examine issues of importance to youth. The council shall advise the legislature on these issues and shall submit an annual report with any recommendations for future legislation. The council consists of 21 members, one of whom shall be a member of the House of Representatives and one of whom shall be a member of the Senate. The remaining 19 members shall be youths between the ages of 15 and 22.
ILLINOIS Governor Rod Blagojevich signed H.B. 4832, creating the Community Service Education Act. It gives support to community service education programs and provides that a school district may establish and operate a community service education program that qualifies for a grant from the State Board of Education by complying with the provisions of the Act and rules.
Good Reads Back to top.
The National Forensic League has chosen national service as its policy topic for the 2006-07 high school debate. The 2006-07 POLICY DEBATE TOPIC is: The United States federal government should establish a policy substantially increasing the number of persons serving in one or more of the following national service programs: AmeriCorps, Citizen Corps, Senior Corps, Peace Corps, Learn and Serve America, Armed Forces.
New Center Publications Back to top.
The nation faces a youth citizenry that is disengaged and lacks the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to participate in and carry out their civic duties. A new ECS Policy Brief, YOUTH LEGISLATIVE ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE, summarizes the state-level goals and accomplishments of the project. Recommendations build cooperation between state legislators and students to enable students to develop civic competencies to contribute to our democracy now and in the future.
Young people respond to genuine opportunities to be helpful, meet others' needs and make a real difference in others' lives. Yet many times, citizens tend to be shocked into action by tragedy and crisis, only to find attention wavering as the events move from the front page to the back pages and then out of the news altogether. ECS' new policy brief, UNTAPPED RESOURCES: ENGAGING STUDENTS IN PREPARATION, RESPONSE AND RECOVERY addresses how to engage and mobilize young people in order to prepare them for when disaster strikes, and to do so in sustainable ways to avoid desensitizing youth to the effects of disaster, and prevent wavering attention.
NCLC News Back to top.
Applications for membership in 100 DISTRICT LEADERS for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning (DLN) are currently being accepted. An initial slate of 44 district leaders was selected in January 2006. The network is now seeking 56 additional district leaders who have a demonstrated commitment to high quality citizenship education. Applications are due September 29, 2006.
During the week of July 9, NCLC hosted a set of meetings, forums and workshops in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The semi-annual NCLC Board Meeting, held July 9, focused on progress to achieve the 2004-06 Chair's Agenda (increased resources on citizenship education integration and sustainability, creating a national network of district leaders, and demonstrating the connection between state- and district-based policies and practices and federal legislation and policies). The 6th Annual EDUCATION LEADERSHIP COLLOQUIUM was held July 10-11, engaging over 80 participants.
NCLC designed, organized and facilitated several plenary sessions, workshops and roundtables at the ECS NATIONAL FORUM ON EDUCATION POLICY. NCLC also facilitated a workshop on "The Role of the Public in P-16" on July 14 at the Minnesota P-16 forum.
A Web-based STUDENT ISSUES DIALOGUES discussion was hosted by NCLC and WestEd in July. Many views were represented with a goal of exploring how to collectively enable P-12 and college students to be directly engaged in learning about, discussing and then acting on state, national and international issues that are important to them. Taking part in the dialogue were representatives from state departments of education, universities, community colleges, public schools, charter schools, administrators, researchers, education and civic organizations, policymakers, college and high school students.
Names in the News Back to top.
WILLIAM CIRONE, county superintendent of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, is the new 2006-08 chairman of the National Center for Learning and Citizenship. The agenda for his two-year term will be service-learning research and advocacy.
PATRICK PHILLIPS has been named executive director of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, replacing David Skaggs. Phillips previously served as deputy commissioner of education in Maine.
KENDELL NEWMAN, (Williams College, MA) and ERIC ROSS (Houston Community College, TX) were awarded the Frank Newman Leadership Award at the ECS National Forum on Education Policy in Minneapolis, July 12, 2006.
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.
TEENS FOR PLANET EARTH supports teens and teen leaders/educators as they carry out environmental service-learning projects. There is a resource library, current news articles and a "Take Action" section with fun, interactive guides to get teens started.
Last year Congress passed a bill mandating that all schools observe CONSTITUTION DAY (September 17th or closest school day) by providing lessons about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia has launched a Web site dedicated to providing teachers, students and citizens all the resources they need to fulfill the new Federal requirement.
International Focus Back to top.
Terry Pickeral presented a workshop focused on POLICY AND PRACTICE at a three-day seminar hosted by the Organization of American States on Good Practices in Education for Citizenship in Mexico City, July 5-7, 2006.