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The Center for Civic Education's mission is to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the United States and other countries. The Center produces curricular materials for public and private schools at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels, conducts professional development for educators, and provides online resources to enhance students' learning.

The James Madison Legacy Project focuses on identifying cost-effective means of providing widely available professional development programs useful in enhancing the knowledge and skills required of teachers to promote high-need and other students' attainment of state standards in civics and government.

The project is administered with the assistance of a national network of coordinators in every participating state. It is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Supporting Effective Educator Development program.