MARCH 2021
Momentum Gaining for Civic Education
The civic education movement took two giant steps forward in the past month. The official unveiling of the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) Roadmap and the re-introduction of the Civics Secures Democracy Act (CSD) were both major strides toward achieving our goal of ensuring that the civic mission of schools is at the core of K–12 education.
Though separate initiatives, the two complement each other in creating the potential for a holistic solution to our country’s civics problem.
1.   EAD provides guidance and a framework for deep, inquiry-based, and integrated history and civics that states, school districts, and teachers can use as they look to create state standards, district learning plans, and curriculum for civic education that will be engaging and relevant to their students and fit the needs of their communities.
2.   The bipartisan CSD Act would provide $1 billion in funding for states, districts, universities, and nonprofits to help with classroom implementation of civic education.
Though these were significant first steps, the hard work of implementing EAD and building broad-based support for CSD now begins. Keep reading to learn how you can become involved in both initiatives.
Inside this newsletter:
  Educating for American Democracy Initiative Launches at National Forum
  Civics Secures Democracy Act Refiled Contact Your Legislators Today
  CivXNow State Civic Learning Coalition Grants
  An Open Letter From Our Youth Fellows to Secretary of Education Cardona
  New Coalition Members
Educating for American Democracy Initiative Launches at National Forum
Thank you to all those who joined us at the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) initiative’s National Forum which served as the official release of the EAD Roadmap and Report. The forum featured classroom educators, students, thought leaders, providers, and leading scholars discussing the Roadmap’s guidance about what and how to teach deep, integrated, and inquiry-based K–12 history and civics to all learners. This initiative encompassed a highly collaborative process spanning more than a year and involving more than 300 contributors representing viewpoint, professional, and demographic diversity. These contributors came together for the first truly national conversation about civic learning and history at a time when our country needs it the most.
The original motto of the United States is e pluribus unum — out of many, one. We need many people to participate at this challenging time in building a new foundation for excellence in history and civics. We invite you to join in and take action to make EAD a reality in every classroom!
Civics Secures Democracy Act Refiled — Contact Your Legislators Today
The bipartisan $1 billion Civics Secures Democracy Act (formerly known as the Educating for Democracy Act) was reintroduced in Congress on March 11th by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK), and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) in the U.S. House and by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) in the U.S. Senate. We need your help to secure legislative co-sponsors and ensure the bill becomes law.
Currently, the federal government spends approximately $50 per student per year on STEM education, but only 5 cents per student on civics. The Civics Secures Democracy Act (CSD) is the only bill commensurate with the dire need for more resources for states and districts to expand access to quality history and civic learning for all students. It is not a federal mandate and does not prescribe any curriculum, leaving those choices where they belong in the individual states and school districts.
It is crucial that all CivXNow members and allies contact their U.S. Congressperson and Senators in support of the act. CSD has been assigned bill numbers and is now S.879 in the Senate and HR. 1814 in the House; make sure to use these bill numbers when communicating with your U.S. House member and U.S. Senators. Please use our advocacy toolkit to contact your federal legislators and activate your networks in support of this vital legislation.
CivXNow State Civic Learning Coalition Grants
The CivXNow Coalition, through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, regranted $100K to five CivXNow state-level affiliates ($20K each) to support coalition-building and policy advocacy with a premium placed on promise for tangible policy progress in the next six months. The recipients include Civic Nebraska, DemocracyReady NY, Generation Citizen (Rhode Island), Georgia Center for Civic Engagement, and Virginia Civics.
The work of these state coalitions will be featured during a planned Policy Summit September 21st–22nd focusing on both state and federal strategies to strengthen civic education. The Coalition intends to work with our state-level affiliates to raise additional funding for coalition-building, policy advocacy, and policy implementation, and also offer technical assistance and cultivate a community of practice through the State Policy Task Force.
Thank you to all 13 state-level affiliates that applied, and congratulations to our first round grant recipients!
An Open Letter From Our Youth Fellows to Secretary of Education Cardona
We asked our Youth as Civic Experts Fellows what students would like the new U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, to do as he embarks on his new role. They shared what’s on young people’s minds and the current reality of civics in schools. They wrote:
Dear Secretary Cordona,
It’s hard to imagine a more daunting set of challenges awaiting an incoming Secretary of Education than those you currently face. Not only must you calibrate a way to safely re-open schools as a pandemic continues to rage, but you must help to heal those schools, many of which are in deeply divided communities that are hurting from political divisions and a racial reckoning.
We face a lot of challenges as a nation, but the most important is the one that our President has called us to rebuild: the soul of our nation. As you know, education is the cornerstone of our nation's soul, and your role is critical to its rebuilding. But don’t listen to us, listen to young people. As a lifelong educator, you know the value of listening to students. And it’s the students themselves calling for better civic education…
As you take the reins of the U.S. Department of Education, we hope that you hear our voices — and we hope that you take them to heart.
Meet the Newest CivXNow Coalition Members
The CivXNow Coalition is growing fast. We now stand at 164 member organizations strong! 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:
  Junior State of America
  Key Biscayne Community Foundation
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!
facebook   twitter
Click here to {{UnsubscribeLink}}.