Melissa Mellor

ASCD Shares Civic Learning Recommendations

ASCD Shares Civic Learning Recommendations

ASCD recently sent feedback to the U.S. Department of Education on reinvigorating civic learning and engagement across the country. This feedback is a response to the department's call for suggestions on four provisions in its road map for advancing civic learning (PDF).

Research and test scores show that our students lack knowledge of the U.S. government system and their civic responsibilities, but many schools struggle to prioritize civic learning amid competing academic concerns. ASCD believes that civic learning is an essential component of a whole child approach to education that gives students a voice in a safe and supportive environment and ensures that they understand their opportunities in and obligations to their schools, their communities, and the nation.

The association's recommendations include

  • Encouraging states, districts, and schools to balance classroom instruction in history, government, economics, law, and democracy with out-of-class opportunities to participate in service-learning programs and civic engagement activities.
  • Ensuring civic learning is recognized as a core academic subject within ESEA.
  • Increasing opportunities for ongoing teacher professional development in civics.
  • Encouraging states to adopt high standards in civic learning, with student assessments based on these standards that include portfolios and group projects.
  • Supporting civic learning through federal competitive grant opportunities to fund innovation; research; and dissemination of model programs and best practices, especially for low-income schools and disadvantaged students.
  • Requiring schools, districts, and communities to measure and report student and family engagement activities and outcomes (e.g., participation in after-school programming, community-based learning opportunities, and extracurricular activities; volunteer rates; and parent involvement data).

See the full recommendations (PDF).

Register for ASCD's Legislative Conference Today!

Registration for ASCD's Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy closes on January 7, 2013. Register now to secure your spot at this premier education conference—to be held January 27–29, 2013, in the nation's capital—and book your hotel room at the special conference rate before time runs out.

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