Your Support for the Educating for Democracy Act
Will Be Needed Soon
We are excited to share that the bipartisan, $1 billion Educating for Democracy Act (EfD) will be reintroduced in Congress soon by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) in the U.S. House and by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) in the U.S. Senate, but we will need your help to secure legislative co-sponsors and ensure EfD becomes law!
Once the bill is introduced, it will be crucial that all CivXNow members and allies contact their U.S. Congressperson and Senators in support of EfD. Stay tuned for more information!
Inside this newsletter:
  Momentum for Civics in the States
  Indiana Bill Would Establish Middle School Civics Course
  Register Today for the Educating for American Democracy National Forum
  #CivicsForUs — Student Voice At Scale
  Meet with the Youth As Civic Expert Network!
  New Coalition Members
Momentum for Civics in the States
So far, in the 2021 state legislative session, over 80 bills related to civic education have been introduced in 23 states. This is a significant increase in the number of civics bills introduced in the past several years and shows the momentum for strengthening and improving civic learning that is sweeping the nation.
The measures introduced so far this year range from course requirements, assessments, and provisions for professional development to civics related recognition programs. Many have been, or will be, introduced due to the work of the state coalitions of the CivXNow State Policy Task Force.
Indiana Bill Would Establish Middle School Civics Course
After a year of hearings, research, and learning from educators and stakeholders across the state, The Indiana Bar Foundation and Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, chair of Indiana’s civic education task force, released their recommendations to improve civic education opportunities and practices for Hoosiers. The report produced several important recommendations that are broken out into two phases.
Phase one of the recommendations are to be implemented from 2021–2023. A few of these recommendations include:
  Establishing a recognition program for teachers, students, administrators, and schools who show exemplary outcomes in civic learning;
  Providing more quality opportunities and resources for teachers to seek professional development in civics; and
  Creating a sustaining group or forum focused on promoting and improving civic education
The Task Force’s recommendations are receiving quick action from the Indiana Legislature. Task Force member State Rep. Anthony Cook introduced 1384 on January 14. The bill requires that the state board of education, in coordination with the department of education, establish standards for civics education by July 1, 2022. The bill also establishes the Indiana civic education commission and states the duties of the commission as well as requires that each student successfully complete one semester of a civic education course in grade 6, 7, or 8.
Register for the Educating for American Democracy National Forum
Join us at the National Forum March 2, 3:00–4:45 p.m. ET for the official release of the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) Roadmap and Report. The forum will feature leading scholars discussing the Roadmap’s guidance about what and how to teach integrated K-12 history and civics for today’s learners.
This project is the result of 17 months of work by over 300 contributors.
For more information, listen to last month’s CivXNow webinar about EAD featuring CivXNow Advisory Council members and EAD project Principal Investigators Dr. Danielle Allen of Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and Louise Dubé of iCivics.
#CivicsForUs — Student Voice At Scale
The second cohort of the Equity in Civics Youth Fellowship, part of the Youth As Civic Experts Network, has been hard at work all year exploring equity in civic education. This year’s cohort is closing out a national listening tour to gain insights on what students across the country, 5th grade through college, think about their civic learning experiences.
To date, students have received over 3,500 responses to their survey from almost all 50 states. Students are using the insights they’ve collected to build a national social media campaign, #CivicsForUS, which will launch March 8.
A few exciting discoveries our students made:
  Over 70% of respondents named their civics, history, or government teacher as a trusted source for helping them solve problems in their community.
  Over 80% of respondents agreed that COVID-19, Black Lives Matter protests, and the 2020 Election cycle have helped them understand how government works.
  A 12th grader from New Jersey stated: “Students understand more than you think. I feel that most adults view social media as a bad thing, but in many ways, it helps us learn and become aware of what is going on in our world…”
  When asked how schools can improve civic education so that students feel prepared to participate right now and as an adult, a 12th grader from Florida said: “I think a heightened focus on civic education not geared towards the establishment of government, but the system today and how to participate. If schools were able to teach this as well as basic required history courses, it would prepare students to be engaged citizens.”
Share Your Expertise with the Youth As Civic Experts Network
We are looking for speakers to participate in our Civics Speaker Series, a virtual fireside chat on Saturday or Sunday from March through June. Sessions are typically 30–60 minutes. Our goal is to inspire future civic leaders to view the field and its work as integral to strengthening our constitutional democracy. If you’re interested in being a speaker, please email Amber Coleman-Mortley.
Meet the Newest CivXNow Coalition Members
The CivXNow Coalition is growing fast. We now stand strong at 160 member organizations! We remain deeply appreciative of all of your efforts and what we have accomplished together. Our goal is to aggregate and activate large networks of support to expand and re-imagine civic education as a force for civic strength. Thank you for your partnership. If you are part of an organization interested in joining the Coalition or learning more, please contact Patricia Leslie-Brown.
The latest additions to the Coalition include:
  America Forward
  Californians for Civic Learning
  DemocracyReady NY
  Illinois Civics
  Maryland Civic Education Coalition
  Nevada Civic Coalition
  Next Generation Politics
  West Chester University Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact
Our Mission
Recognizing that preparing our youth to assume the responsibilities and understand their rights as active participants in the civic life of this great nation is essential to the health of our Republic, we pledge to help every school in the nation fulfill its historic and vital civic mission. We pledge to ensure that every young person acquires the civic knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for informed and authentic civic engagement.
A Team Effort
The CivXNow team produces this newsletter each month.
We are grateful for the energy, time, and guidance of the CivXNow Advisory Council and to many, many others who support individual projects.
The important work of CivXNow is generously funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York,
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
Follow us and use #CivXNow to join the movement!
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