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Phone: 303.299.3608
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Paul Baumann

NCLCE Publications

The Civics Education Initiative of 2015

State Civic Education Policy Framework
This framework is intended to guide state policymakers as they address the complexities of preparing students for college, career and civic life. It allows for adaptation to state- and site-specific circumstances and may be adopted in whole or in piecemeal fashion, according to states’ individual circumstances. (Paul Baumann, Maria Millard and Leslie Hamdorf)

Different paths to a common goal: Preparing students for civic life
ECS, through its National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement institute, has released a series of reports in recent months that highlight the various approaches taken around the country to advance civic knowledge among all students. The sixth and final report provides an overview of the previous papers and offers several themes that helped lead to a common goal. (Brady Delander and Maria Millard, ECS, June 26)

Secretaries of state make impact, lasting impression in civics
Among the responsibilities of individual secretaries of state in this country, the oversight of elections within their respective states plays a large role. These chief election officers actively work to maximize registration of eligible voters and help educate the public in regard to general voter information. Many secretaries of state attempt to go further and have started initiatives focused on civic learning and engagement – efforts that are designed to continue even after they leave office. (Brady Delander and Maria Millard, ECS, June 2014)

Advancing civic learning with administrative authority
California and Montana, through the leadership of their state judiciaries and superintendents of public instruction, have taken steps to expand civics education through administrative directives. Such directives may be an expedited way to implement civics initiatives, though the challenge then becomes finding ways to sustain them. (Brady Delander and Maria Millard, ECS, June 2014)

Florida and Tennessee: Accountability in Civic Education
Lawmakers in Florida, in 2010, and in Tennessee, in 2012, approved legislation that holds students accountable for their civics knowledge. Students are taking the tests for the first time this school year. (Education Commission of the States, Brady Delander, April 2014)

NCLCE Schools of Success #5: Service-Learning May Influence Attendance, Performance
In its fifth Schools of Success report, the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement (NCLCE) looked at the relationships between students’ participation in service-learning and academic performance and school attendance. In several instances, the attendance of students who participated in service-learning activities was statistically higher than their peers who did not participate in service-learning. (Paul Baumann, ECS, March 2014)

Six Proven Practices for Effective Civic Learning Six Proven Practices for Effective Civic Learning (read the press release)
The purpose of this guidebook is to serve as a resource — a what’s next? — for teachers, administrators, policymakers, and other education leaders who want to put the “Six Proven Practices of Effective Civic Learning” in place but are not sure how to begin. (Lisa Guilfoile, Brady Delander, ECS, January 2014)
Civic Education: Legislative Updates
While the role that civic education plays in public schools has been reduced in the past 50 years, the civic education field continues to make significant strides in identifying best practices for civic education. As evident in NCLCE's most recent 50-state policy scan, some states have recognized such best practices by enacting policy on "civics," "citizenship education," and "social studies." (Molly Ryan and Paul Baumann, ECS, September 2013)

High-Quality Service-Learning Opens the Door for Students’ Entry into STEM Fields
Based on a project that examined 19 schools, NCLC has gathered information on the relationship between STEM-focused service-learning and student interest and performance in STEM-related courses and careers. The findings of this evaluation suggest that STEM-related service-learning is a powerful tool for schools to use to drive student performance and interest in STEM fields. (Paul Baumann, ECS, May 2013)

Service-learning Common core paper Linking Service-Learning and the Common Core State Standards: Alignment, Progress, and Obstacles
These case studies examine whether and how four diverse sites are utilizing high-quality service-learning as a teaching strategy for implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The report also investigates what types of supports teachers and administrators need to effectively implement the Common Core using service-learning, which is a proven strategy for deeper learning. The authors found that what teachers and administrators interviewed need most at this juncture are guidance, support, and training on how to effectively integrate service-learning into Common Core implementation. (Lisa Guilfoile and Molly Ryan, ECS, April 2013)
Progress of education reform april 2013 The Progress of Education Reform: The New Civics
This issue of The Progress of Education Reform provides a close look at the new civics—how it differs from previous practices, what it includes, how it is supported by research, and its implications for policy. (Paul Baumann and Molly Ryan, ECs, April 2013)
NCLC Schools of Success Network Shows that Service-Learning Quality Matters
A new report about the National Center for Learning and Citizenship's Schools of Success program clearly points to at least one simple and clear conclusion: The quality of service-learning matters. Robust data from 19 schools across the country show that high-quality service-learning has a significant and positive relationship with students' academic engagement, educational aspirations, acquisition of 21st century skills, and community engagement. (Paul Baumann, ECS, November 2012)
Network NewsNetwork News: Sustaining Service-Learning in Your School: Staying the Course
Over the past year and a half, we have framed issues of Network News around identifying quality service-learning best practices and implementation. In this, our final installment, we look closely at what it takes to sustain service-learning, and offer ideas for how to anchor service-learning in curricula and bolster the wonderful programs taking place in the Schools of Success network schools. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, July 2012)
learn and serveService-Learning After Learn and Serve America: How Five States Are Moving Forward
The elimination of funding for Learn and Serve America coupled with state budget shortfalls has prompted a transition period for the service-learning field. Advocates across the country are choosing to move beyond the devastating budget cut and seize the opportunity to refocus efforts to expand high-quality service-learning. This set of case studies aims to highlight policy and practice in several states where service-learning experts are designing and implementing agendas to maintain and advance statewide service-learning initiatives with no federal aid and no new state aid. (Molly Ryan, ECS, June 2012)
network newsNetwork News: Cultivating Strong Service-Learning Partnerships
We know that vibrant, thriving communities are those committed to the growth and well-being of all their members. Service-learning has become a valuable way for schools and community organizations to cultivate strong, sustainable relationships to meet community needs in collaborative settings. Looking for ways to connect students with community partners in service-learning? This issue focuses on what it takes to build strong community partnerships and the inherent benefits for all involved. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, May 2012)
network newsNetwork News: High Quality Reflection
Quality reflection is essential to helping students glean the most from their service-learning projects. This issue examines the attributes of good reflection and its ability to help participants learn what they need to learn, recognize the real-world application of their work and appreciate the richness of their service experience. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, March 2012)
network newsNetwork News: Duration and Intensity: No Time for Cutting Corners
Developing service-learning projects with sufficient duration and intensity can be challenging for practitioners faced with already packed teaching agendas. This issue focuses on strategies for creating projects that last long enough and drill deep enough to help students and those they serve get the most from their service-learning experiences. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, January 2012)
PERThe Progress of Education Reform: Civic Engagement through Digital Citizenship
This issue of The Progress of Education Reform includes a closer look at the characteristics of digital natives and provides a summary of research about digital natives' civic engagement habits and the implications of this research for education policy aimed at promoting digital citizenship for today’s youth. (Paul Baumann, ECS, February 2012)
network newsNetwork News: Linking Service-Learning to the Curriculum
Generating ideas for service-learning projects with strong links to curriculum can be a daunting process for some practitioners. Yet those clear and intentional connections separate service from service-learning, and are much more likely to create the kind of learning that positively impacts students and the community being served. This issue focuses on strategies for connecting service to core learning outcomes in ways that make learning meaningful and stimulating for students — hopefully answers the familiar student question, "Why do I need to know this?" (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, November 2011)
network newsNetwork News: Cultivating Youth Voice in Service-Learning
This issue addresses a challenge that service-learning practitioners are all too familiar with - how to effectively cultivate youth voice without compromising project quality and the learning experience itself. Learn about specific challenges teachers face around youth voice, and some tried-and-true strategies for engaging all students more holistically in the service-learning process. Peruse a list of excellent resources on youth voice, upcoming funding opportunities for service-learning and civic engagement projects and latest news from the field. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, September 2011)
network newsNetwork News: Documenting and Archiving Service-Learning over Time: It’s Not Just a Story Anymore
This issue focuses on a challenge faced by many service-learning teachers and practitioners in the field — how to effectively document and archive service-learning projects. Learn more about tools and strategies teachers can use to chronicle their project work, while enhancing students' learning experience and creating a collection of quality projects to share with the larger learning community. Get the latest on the District Leaders and Schools of Success network member advocacy, and find out what funding opportunities are available around service-learning and civic engagement. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, July 2011)

toolkitStrategies for Student Engagement: A Toolkit to Implement Quality Service-Learning in Colorado was a collaborative effort by the Colorado Department of Education and the Education Commission of the States' National Center for Learning and Citizenship for the purpose of creating a collection of exemplary, practical service-learning tools and resources for teachers, students, administrators and community partners in the field.

networknewsNetwork News: Measuring Service-Learning’s Impact on Community
This issue highlights the importance of measuring service-learning's impact on the community being served and ways to effectively measure that impact. Learn more about the difference between 'Needs' versus 'Strengths' assessments and how those tools can set the tone for community partners’ service-learning experiences with students and schools. Get the latest on who's doing what in the District Leaders and Schools of Success networks, and check out what funding opportunities are available around service-learning and civic engagement. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, May 2011)
progress of eduation reformThe Progress of Education Reform: Citizenship Education
This issue of The Progress of Education Reform examines research on what constitutes citizenship education, how citizenship education contributes to the acquisition of 21st century skills and civic learning opportunity and achievement gaps. (Jennifer Piscatelli, Education Commission of the States, October 2010)
perThe Progress of Education Reform - Service Learning
The term service-learning is used frequently these days, but confusion remains as to what it is and why it matters. More importantly, are there any measurable benefits? This issue of The Progress of Education Reform looks at four research studies that explore the impact of service-learning on student achievement and civic engagement. (JoAnn Henderson, December 2009)
hispanic paperService-Learning and Hispanic Students: What Works in the Field
This report examines best practices in educating Hispanic students and improving student graduation rates and matriculation into higher education. The author sought to determine whether successful schools implemented different practices for Hispanic students and how successful service-learning was as a pedagogical approach. (Tiffani Lennon, Education Commission of the States, July 2009)
service-learning paperService-Learning Policies and Practices: A Research-Based Advocacy Paper
This paper translates service-learning’s research-based evidence for education leaders and identifies best practices and policies. Learn more about the five critical components for effectiveness: vision and leadership, curriculum and assessment, community-school partnerships, professional development and continuous improvement. (T. Pickeral, T. Lennon, J. Piscatelli, Education Commission of the States, NCLC, September 2008)
school climate paperThe School Climate Challenge: Narrowing the Gap Between School Climate Research and School Climate Policy, Practice Guidelines and Teacher Education Policy
This paper targets school leaders regarding the gap between findings from school climate research and school climate policy and practice, including teacher education and community support and engagement. (2008)
PERThe Progress of Education Reform - A Growing Population
This issue of The Progress of Education Reform looks at three recent research studies on academic success for Hispanic students and offers insights on strategies that show promise in promoting greater educational attainment for Hispanic students. (Jennifer Piscatelli, Education Commission of the States, November 2008)

State Policies on Youth Engagement in Policymaking
This ECS StateNote examines results of a 50-state review of state policies that encourage student involvement in decisionmaking and policymaking. While many institutions of higher education, districts and schools have similar policies, this review was limited to identifying those opportunities codified at the state level in state statute and administrative code. (Judy English, Jennifer Piscatelli, Ann Rautio and Hillary Whitten, Education Commission of the States, June 2008)

The Progress of Education Reform: Student Engagement
This issue of the Progress of Education Reform features highlights of K-12 research on student engagement, a civic orientation and building resiliency. Taken together, they provide a useful, up-to-date look at evidence on the merits of engaging students for achievement and success. It also includes policy implications based on the research, as well as links to studies and resources on student engagement in higher education. (Terry Pickeral and Jennifer Piscatelli, Education Commission of the States, October 2007)

Citizenship Education Policy Brief
This policy brief reviews current data and recent state action in support of citizenship education. It highlights eight states’ standards which go beyond the teaching of knowledge and extend to skills and dispositions, analyzes common characteristics of state standards and concludes with questions for policymakers. (Tiffani Lennon, Education Commission of the States, October 2006)

Transforming Students into Active Stewards of Democracy -- A report on the U.S.-U.K. seminar Political Literacy and Service-Learning: The Role of Schools and Their Communities
Proceedings from a 2005 joint seminar between U.S. and United Kingdom service-learning and citizenship education experts and practitioners, this report presents information on the similar challenges both countries face in promoting and implementing political literacy and citizenship education programs. (Dale DeCesare, Education Commission of the States, 2006)

Youth Legislative Engagement Initiative: An Overview of Effective Strategies to Design, Implement and Sustain Youth Legislative Initiatives
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. This ECS policy brief summarizes the state-level goals and accomplishments of the Youth Legislative Engagement 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. (Tiffani Lennon, Education Commission of the States, July 2006)

Learning That Lasts Field Guide
The Learning That Lasts Field Guide is a new companion guide to Learning That Lasts: How Service-Learning Can Become an Integral Part of Schools, States and Communities. The Field Guide provides specific strategies to move service-learning from the margin to the mainstream in American schools. (Education Commission of the States, 2005)

Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar E. Chavez: Legacies of Leadership and Inspiration for Today’s Civic Education
Hundreds of public schools and streets are named after either Martin Luther King Jr. or Cesar E. Chavez, although their lasting influence, particularly regarding the civic mission of schools, extends much further. To demonstrate this lasting influence, this issue paper provides: (1) lessons from the work of King and Chavez that can help educators and policymakers think more deeply about ways in which awareness and advocacy can be strengthened to support the civic mission of schools; (2) examples of ways in which schools are using the King and Chavez legacies; and (3) recommendations for policymakers that use the legacies to create opportunities for effective civic education in America's schools. (Anthony Welch and Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Education Commission of the States, September 2005)

Senior and Culminating Projects
his paper explores the challenges and benefits of combining service-learning with senior and culminating projects – multi-dimensional projects through which graduating high school seniors demonstrate their accumulated knowledge and skills. It provides examples of existing high-quality programs, and offers some questions for consideration by educational leaders and policymakers. (Jeffery Miller, Education Commission of the States, November 2004)

Progress of Education Reform: Citizenship Education
This issue of The Progress of Education Reform focuses on what some of the latest research says policymakers can do to improve citizenship education, as well as what the National Assessment of Educational Progress has found about nationwide student civics achievement. (Dale DeCesare, The Progress of Education Reform, vol. 5, no. 2, Education Commission of the States, 2004)

Developing Citizenship Competencies from Kindergarten through Grade 12: A Background Paper for Policymakers and Educators
This paper is designed to help policymakers and education leaders incorporate civic knowledge, skills and attitudes into policies that support effective citizenship education from the early elementary grades through high school. (Judith Torney-Puerta and Susan Vermeer, Education Commission of the States, updated July 2006)

The Role of Principals in Citizenship Education: Integrating and Sustaining Quality Efforts in American Schools
This issue brief explores the role of school principals in efforts to unite civics knowledge with action and make citizenship education a vital part of their schools’ functioning. The companion piece to this brief contains excerpts from interviews with several principals engaged in such efforts. (Linda Fredericks, Education Commission of the States, June 2004)

Citizenship Education Policy at the School District Level
This report examines the "line of sight" between state policy and school practice of citizenship education through the efforts of 14 school districts. The report argues that district practice could improve by explicit articulation of the connection between the civic knowledge, skills and dispositions acquired in school on the one hand, and the obligations of citizenship on the other. (Jeffery Miller, Education Commission of the States, April 2004)

Citizenship Education in 10 U.S. High Schools
This issue paper describes 10 high schools in nine school districts across the country where students are given many opportunities to develop citizenship skills. The schools differ in the kinds of civic knowledge, skills and dispositions fostered by their programs. The paper concludes with a look at promising citizenship education strategies and a summary of policy implications for states, local governments, districts and schools. (Jeffery Miller, Education Commission of the States, February 2004)

Involving Students in Governance
Education is as much about fostering citizenship as it is about preparing students for college and the workplace, according to this policy brief. The brief presents the benefits of involving students in education governance and policymaking. It includes examples, challenges, questions for state and local policymakers to consider, as well as recommendations and resources. (Jeffery J. Miller, Education Commission of the States, October 2004)

Making the Case for Social Emotional Learning and Service-Learning
This issue brief provides an overview and description of both social and emotional learning (SEL) and service-learning (S-L) as tools to improve the lives and academic performance of students. It describes how the two practices are interrelated and the research evidence that supports the expanded use of both practices in the classroom. Also provided are descriptions of the essential elements required of successful SEL and S-L programs, examples of such successful programs that are in existence today and a discussion of state activities and experiences. (Linda Fredericks, April 2003, ECS)

Building Community Through Service-Learning: The Role of Community Partner
This paper highlights effective strategies for service-learning partnerships, using “best-practice” examples to illustrate potential impact. The paper's focus is on school-based, as distinct from community-based, service-learning. A number of the strategic recommendations presented in this paper, however, especially those dealing with changes within the organization or agency itself, may be applicable to both situations. (Susan Abravanel, April 2003, ECS)

Learning That Lasts: How Service-Learning Can Become an Integral Part of Schools, States and Communities
This publication answers the question, "what would it take to make service-learning part of every student's education experience?" based on our work as part of Learning In Deed: Making a Difference Through Service-Learning. (Education Commission of the States, September 2002)

Tool Kit: Service-Learning and Standards -- Achieving Academic Excellence by Serving Communities
ECS/NCLC staff have asked service-learning colleagues, "What tools have you found most helpful in your work?" This publication contains some of the most useful materials found on the topic of service-learning and standards. They illustrate best practices and provide constructive models in curriculum, assessment and planning. Copies of this publication are available for $25.00 plus postage and handling from the ECS Distribution Center. Click here for an Order Form. For more information, contact John Ivey at 303-299-3692, (Sheila Bailey, Judy Bray, Nelda Brown, Jessica Donner, Luke Frazier, Carter Hendricks, Heidi McGinley, Kate McPherson, Jeffery Miller, Karen White and SEANet, Education Commission of the States, June 2001)

Integrating Youth Voice in Service-Learning
This issue paper examines the rationale for the implementation of youth voice in service-learning initiatives, examines challenges practitioners may face and offers strategies for success. It includes case studies profiling exemplary programs across the nation and perspectives from youth, school administrators, service-learning advocates and state policymakers, and it provides recommendations and resources for schools, organizations and policymakers interested in incorporating a strong and meaningful youth voice component within their field of work. (Linda Fredericks, Eve Kaplan and Jennifer Zeisler, Education Commission of the States and Compact for Learning and Citizenship/Learning In Deed, 2001)

Service-Learning: An Administrator's Tool for Improving Schools and Connecting With the Community
Examines why administrators support service-learning as a key element in school improvement, what questions they may need to address and how administrators can support and strengthen service-learning in their schools. (Sheldon Berman, Sheila Bailey, Randall Collins, Dale Kinsley and Elizabeth Holman, Compact for Learning and Citizenship, Education Commission of the States, May 2000)

Every Student A Citizen: Creating the Democratic Self
This links to the executive summary of the final report of the National Study Group on Citizenship in K-12 Schools, which summarizes a framework and rationale for (1) articulating a pressing need to revitalize the civic mission of education, (2) advancing service-learning as a strategy that can challenge and guide students to meet their civic responsibilities and (3) engaging every student in activities that make a difference in their schools and communities. Find out the principles of best practices needed to support the development of the democratic self, challenges to current policy assumptions and recommendations for action at the school, district, community, state and national level. (Terry Pickeral, Education Commission of the States, July 2000)

Service-Learning: An Education Strategy for Preventing School Violence — Issue Paper
Rarely talked about is what is happening within young people that causes them to react with such negative emotion and antisocial behavior. Service-learning is one strategy that shows promise for creating a "culture of caring." (Carol W. Kinsley, Ann Southworth and Bruce O. Boston, Compact for Learning and Citizenship, Education Commission of the States, December 1999)

Service-Learning: Every Child a Citizen
This issue paper provides an overview of service-learning -- its impact, alignment with improving education, civic responsibility, voluntary versus required service, guidelines for effective practice, systems and strategies of support, and resources to integrate service-learning into K-12 schools. (Education Commission of the States, December 1999)

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