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Posts tagged ‘civic education’

What We’re Reading: ECS’s 50 State Comparison on Civic Education

From the Education Commission of the States:

50-State Comparison: Civic Education and Companion Report

With the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act, states have innovative opportunities to provide students with a well-rounded education. Civic education is a vital aspect of a well-rounded education and states across the country have passed legislation related to civic learning and engagement. The ultimate goal is to provide students with opportunities to actively participate in civic and democratic life.

This 50-State Comparison is an update to the 50-State Comparison: Civic Education Policies, released in 2013, and provides a statewide overview of social studies and civic education legislation and identifies trends, distinctions and outliers. The Companion Report for this 50-State Comparison highlights key legislation and specific school curricula related to civic education.

“Exploring and understanding how states across the country approach civic learning and citizenship education through policy and curriculum opens the door for opportunities for improving policies and increasing student engagement in civic issues,” said Jan Brennan, project leader for the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement, a center within Education Commission of the States. “This 50-State Comparison serves as a resource to help states evaluate their current civic education policies and ensure their students are prepared for future civic engagement.”

Some key takeaways from this report:

  • More than half of the states require some form of civic education assessment.
  • The majority of states do not include civics, social studies or citizenship in their education accountability systems.
  • States vary considerably in the policy device and manner in which they address civic education in statute, administrative code, and curriculum and standards frameworks.

For questions, contact Education Commission of the States Communications Director Amy Skinner at or (303) 299.3609.

State Civic Education Policies | A CIRCLE Update

Interactive Map Shows State Civic Education Policies

In the past two years, many states have been updating their civic education policies, some to conform with Common Core standards or to adopt the new College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for social studies. CIRCLE has created a new interactive map designed to quickly see where states stand on key civic education measures like required years of social studies in high school or assessments at the state level.

The interactive map lets users explore by regions and allows for custom comparisons between states. By double-clicking on a state you can also get a more detailed snapshot of a state’s civic education within the context of other key information like educational spending, population demographics, political climate, and voting rates (see a sample PDF).

Explore the map HERE.


Florida, Tennessee, and Hawaii: Three Case Studies of Civic Education Policy

Recently, CIRCLE conducted case studies of new or revised civic education reforms in three states:

– In Florida, the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Education Act mandates a high-stakes standardized test in civics.
– In Hawaii, a required “Participation in Democracy” course places a strong emphasis on experiential education. The requirement was passed in 2006 and an effort to repeal it was defeated.
– In Tennessee, recent legislation mandates project-based civics assessments at the middle and high school levels.

We have released a short fact sheet that describes each bill or proposal in detail, including the advantages and drawbacks identified by both proponents and detractors. We have also released a paper that includes interviews with prominent stakeholders in each state and takes an initial look at the process behind each proposal and some of the issues faced by the educators tasked with implementing them.

Download the Fact Sheet HERE.
Download the Working Paper HERE.

Both the civic education map and these case studies were funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. 

Call for Applications: Virtual Mapping of Civic Education in the Americas


Virtual Mapping

With the aim of fostering knowledge and the exchange of practices of policies and programs in civic and citizenship education developed in the Americas among member states of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices calls national ministries or secretariats, civil society organizations, universities, civil associations, public and private schools, and researchers whose work focuses on the call’s topic to participate in the Virtual Mapping of Policies, Programs and Initiatives in Civic and Citizenship Education in the Americas by sharing good practices in this field.

Practices gathered through this call will be included in a virtual depository that will increase their visibility and contribute, along with other existing regional and sub regional spaces and mechanisms, to strengthening the actions of other countries to coordinate efforts and cooperate in topics in areas of mutual interest.

In addition to housing the collected practices, this depository will also include research resources on civic and citizenship education, as well as forums, chats and virtual seminaries (webinars) through which interested individuals and institutions may be informed and learn in detail about the various practices, reflect and dialogue about them in order to increase the flow of information and exchange, and democratize the circulation of knowledge in this field. Users will be able to search practices by topic, country or type of practice.

How to participate:

  1. National ministries or secretariats, civil society organizations, universities, civil associations, public and private schools, and researchers that work on the call’s topic must fill out the application form at the end of this document with information about the policy(ies), program(s) or project(s) that have been or are currently being executed in their country.
  1. The application form must be sent in Word or PDF format to the email address by the closing date of the call: October 30, 2013. Only fully completed forms will be taken into consideration. You may also submit an application online through the following link:
  1. Received practices will be organized and systematized to be published in the depository. The launch of the webpage that will house the depository will be announced at the call’s closing date.

For further information or questions, please send an email to Romina Kasman at



More Technology to Bring Democracy to You…Or Your Classroom

By Stephanie South, Program Associate, AASCU

UntitledRudyard Kipling once said that if history were taught in the form of stories, it would not be forgotten. It seems that one organization is taking his advice when it comes to educating the next generation of American citizens, and it has just launched its new website.

What So Proudly We Hail: Making American Citizens through Literature, an educational resource inspired by a book of the same title, is taking a new approach to civic education. Instead of simply making sure that today’s students come to know the facts of our great American history, What So Proudly We Hail wants them to experience it through great works of literature and rhetoric—short stories, speeches, and songs that reveal American character and American identity.

Available resources include an online curriculum—The newly launched site offers a multitude of resources for anyone interested in learning what it means to be an American and what it takes to be a citizen, including a ten-part curriculum featuring conversation guides for teachers and video conversations, an online library, resources on the American holidays, and more.

You can also check out What So Proudly We Hail on Facebook here.

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