Ensuring An Effective Civic Education

Time To Strike Up The Band

Photo Credits: Grant Wood, Howard Chandler Christy, Automobile Magazine, Our American Voice, et al
  • Civic Learning and Engagement in Florida. In 2010, Florida passed the Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Education Act, which connects elementary, middle and high school civic education to ensure that students get the building blocks of civic participation at appropriate levels. That education begins in elementary English and language arts classes, is anchored by a middle school civics course that culminates in a high stakes, end-of-course exam, and is capped by experiential civic learning during high school.
  • Civic Learning and Engagement in Illinois. The cornerstone of the civic learning and engagement activities in in this state is Illinois Democracy Schools, a network of sixty-seven high schools coordinated by the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition and convened by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. In 2015, due in large part to leadership from McCormick, the state legislature passed a ground-breaking new civic education law requiring that all high school students take a stand-alone civics course that includes having to meet content standards for advanced civic skills such as deliberation.
  • iCivics is the “largest provider of civics curriculum in the nation reaching nearly 200,000 teachers and 5 million students in all 50 states.” It was founded in 2009 by former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor because she felt that “civic education had practically disappeared from the school curriculum.” Educational games and simulations such as Cast Your Vote, Immigration Nation, Do I Have a Right?, We the Jury, and Win the White House are at the heart of iCivics. iCivics’ materials are provided free to classrooms across the country.
  • Our American Voice (OAV) is an Illinois-based action civics program for elementary and middle school students (grades 4–8) run by the Barat Education Foundation (BEF). OAV is implemented in two parts: Part I: Civic Content Knowledge Acquisition and Part II: Action Learning, creation and execution of a project to address a school or community issue or problem. In 2018, OAV celebrated its 10th year by serving 26 schools and approximately 1,000 students in disadvantaged communities throughout the state. More than 200 student-led initiatives have come to fruition in the heartland since the program began.

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Frank Islam & Ed Crego

Frank Islam is an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. Ed Crego is a management consultant. Both are leaders of the 21st century citizenship movement.