The American Academy of Arts & Sciences recently published a report titled "Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century," recommending an increase in funding and education in a subject near and dear to my heart, civics! The report calls for a move to not just teach students the basics but rather how to become engaged and active citizens through integrating service learning, student government, debate training and participatory budgeting. The goal is to get students informed on civic knowledge and have them be able to carry that understanding forward to become participatory citizens throughout their lives. Without a basic knowledge of how government works, the understanding of how it applies as adults is lost. The report also stresses the need for states to develop a greater breadth of civics standards to establish best practices. With the recent rigorous debate on politics, rights and freedoms in this country, investing in civic education will provide students with a foundation from which to be an informed part of the conversation. If enacted we look forward to seeing a broader scope of curriculum and standards created across the board!
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By: Jen Larson