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to the national center for learning and citizenship

To read more about Service-Learning, visit the ECS Issue Site on Service-Learning.

To read more about civic education, visit the ECS Issue Site on Citizenship/Character Education.

Do you have information you would like to share in future issues of Citizenship Matters? Send submissions to Brady Delander at bdelander@ecs.org.

The ECS National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement (NCLCE) assists state and district policymakers and educators developing policies that support K-12 school-based service-learning opportunities. These educational experiences help students acquire the skills, values, knowledge and practice necessary to be effective citizens. The NCLCE identifies and analyzes policies and practices that support effective civic education, creates and disseminates publications for education stakeholders, and convenes meetings to develop a collective voice for citizenship education and civic mission of schools. NCLCE also encourages policy support and system structures to integrate service-learning into schools and communities. For more information, visit www.ecs.org/nclc.

Welcome to Citizenship Matters, from the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement (NCLCE) at the Education Commission of the States (ECS). This bimonthly newsletter focuses on ECS' work in improving civic education in our nation's schools.

July / August 2014

Guest Column

Pigs Can’t Really Fly — Can They?
David Klement, executive director of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College in Florida, writes that it is possible — despite today’s political divide — to generate a civics revival. “As difficult as it may be to accomplish, the partisan divide can be bridged; Americans have not given up on each other — or on a democratic system based on consensus reached by mutual respect for opposing beliefs.”

New from NCLCE

Thinkers’ Meeting
The National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement is holding a three-day meeting in an effort to work out a framework that states can use to guide development of civic education policy for schools and postsecondary institutions. Scheduled for Aug. 11-13 in Denver, attendees include a host of familiar names, such as Kelita Bak, CEO of the National Youth Leadership Council; Lisa Bardwell, president and CEO of Earth Force; Doug Dobson, executive director of the Lou Frey Institute; Michelle Herczog, president of the National Council for the Social Studies; and many more.

Series of reports review state civics initiatives
NCLCE recently released a series of six reports that provide an overview of what states are doing to address civic learning, with and without legislation. Take a look at the capstone document, which provides links to the previous reports.

Good Reads

Pennsylvania program teaches students about civil rights movement
Some Pennsylvania K-12 students are learning about the civil rights movement and what it means today as part of a six-week program called Freedom School. Held for the first time in Allentown, Pa., the program's instructors lead students in the study of civil rights figures such as Rosa Parks, along with key historic points.

Learning Personal Finance as a Life Skill
As the world claws its way out of an economic crisis, a recent global comparative study on the financial literacy of 15-year-olds has placed a spotlight on the growing importance of economic competency training in secondary schools. The study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development produced some surprising results.

Social conscience, work ethic begin at home
Bill Cirone, Santa Barbara County’s superintendent of schools and an executive board member for NCLCE, penned a column about what “sets America apart from other civilizations is our value system. Our respect for life, liberty, democracy and social equality, and our tolerance for different religious views and lifestyles — these are all bedrock principles on which this country was founded.”

Wisconsin high school students serve in county government
A group of 10 high school students learned about the inner workings of government in the Youth in Governance program in Racine County, Wisc. The students serve on county committees, participate in committee discussions and have a nonbinding advisory vote. "The purpose of this program is to try to kick-start this group into a life of public service," said Monte Osterman, the program's chairman.

Names in the News

Sen. Richard Moore continues to promote civics
Massachusetts Sen. Richard T. Moore recently participated in the ECS 2014 National Forum on Education Policy. Moore, who was personally invited to speak during a panel titled "Civic Education Fulfilling the Mission: How States are Bolstering Civic Education," commented on the importance of civic engagement and learning to a 21st century public education, and his leadership in advancing the social studies in Massachusetts. "In order for our democracy to endure, students must be prepared with knowledge of government and the practices of an engaged citizenry," Sen. Moore said. "Civic education helps develop engaged citizens, provides critical thinking skills, and prepares students for jobs in the global economy. All of this is consistent with the goals of increasing student achievement and closing achievement gaps."

 

Thank you for reading Citizenship Matters. For questions, comments or submissions, contact Brady Delander at 303.299.3622 or bdelander@ecs.org.

 
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