In the wake of the 2008 presidential election, now is the time to capitalize on the high turnout and voter interest. With a revival of political energy and enthusiasm across America, 2009 offers an opportunity for the Center’s Campaign to Promote Civic Education, which aims to improve civic education policy and practice in every state and the District of Columbia.
As civic educators, we know that the real work begins in the aftermath of election enthusiasm. While the presidential contest generated a great deal of interest, the reality is that the real policy that affects our students and ourselves happens at the state and local levels. Despite some encouraging results from the Center’s Campaign, along with the fine work of other organizations and of outstanding classroom teachers, the vast majority of our young people are either not being taught civics and government at all, or are being taught inadequately and too little, too late.
As the new administration takes office and Congress embarks on its 111th term, let’s all do our part to communicate the real implications to our local leaders, much as we do with our students. Please contact your local and state elected officials and reach out to your local school administrative unit. Tell them about the civic health of your own school, encourage them to support the programs that matter most to you, and help them to understand the implications of enacted policies and standards.
The Campaign to Promote Civic Education cannot be only a fifty state and D.C. initiative. Educators, researchers and policymakers must come together in our common goal of restoring the civic mission of our schools and taking action on the ground. Please contact your state facilitator of the Campaign to Promote Civic Education and see how you can assist in your state, county, or school district.
We appreciate those of you who are already doing so.
The Campaign to Promote Civic Education is a fifty-state and District of Columbia effort aimed at restoring the civic mission of our nation’s schools by encouraging states and school districts to devote sustained and systematic attention to civic education from kindergarten through 12th-grade. The Center for Civic Education is an affiliate of the Civic Mission of the Schools and our joint campaigns seek the same goal—improving civic education policy and practice. To learn more about the campaign or get involved in your state, contact Liza Prendergast (Prendergast@civiced.org) or Justin Rydstrom(Rydstrom@civiced.org) at the Center’s Washington, D.C., office at 202-861-8800.