January 2023
Celebrating Progress and Continuing Our Work Together
All the work this cross-cutting CivXNow Coalition—standing at 275+ organizations and representing the nation’s diverse demography, geography, and political ideology—is doing to make civic education a nationwide priority is paying off!
Ours is a work of years and generations—it will not happen overnight, but we are making incredible progress. To this end, we are looking forward to celebrating this progress together during the first-ever national Civic Learning Week (more info below) even as we continue to build on our strong foundation and advocate for bipartisan policies at the national, state, and local levels that reimagine and deliver relevant, inclusive, and engaging K–12 civic learning, both in- and out-of-school.
There is power in featuring civic education not just at election time but at this critical juncture when folks are looking for solutions. We’ve written previously about broad support for civic education and the positive impact it has, but a new report from More in Common importantly identifies a “perception gap” with regard to those with differing political views when it comes to how civics and history should be taught. While rather extreme perceptions are only true for those occupying the far right and left ends of the political spectrum, these perceptions are manipulated by “conflict entrepreneurs” to fuel the culture wars and undermine a relative consensus on teaching a plural, yet shared national history. As the report so simply states, “We feel divided over how to teach history, in significant measure because we feel divided, period.”
More in Common’s recommendations at the conclusion of the report are essential to overcoming this perception gap and institutional distrust. Among them, we must assume greater complexity in our fellow citizens’ beliefs about a range of issues—our shared, yet plural history included. We must also make space for such discussions across difference, and use concrete language in framing civics and history education, accounting for local context that is essential given the premise of local control that governs K–12 education in the country.
These are just some of the reasons we’re so grateful for your partnership as we unite behind providing stronger K–12 civic education opportunities and building bipartisan consensus for policies like the federal Civics Secures Democracy Act and those recommended in the CivXNow State Policy Menu. This worthy pursuit of common ground in fostering the civic development of our future generations couldn’t be more important to the ongoing health and strength of our constitutional democracy.
Yours in civics,
Inside this newsletter:
  National Civic Learning Week Opening Forum
  State Spotlight: Maryland Coalition Identifies Six Actionable Proposals
  Research Roundup
  All-Member Meeting Recap
  New Members
Civic Learning Week Opening Forum
Tuesday, March 7 | 9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m. ET | National Archives
Join educators, students, policymakers, and public- and private-sector leaders at the National Archives in Washington, DC for the Civic Learning Week Open Forum. Panels will include stakeholder conversations; exploration of information literacy and civic education for our plural yet shared nation; discussion of the latest research and impact measures; and more.
Check out the Civic Learning Week website for the growing lineup of events taking place March 6–10!
State Spotlight: Maryland Coalition Identifies Six Actionable Proposals
The Maryland Civic Education Coalition has worked hard to engage with and listen to its members during their Maryland Civic Education & Engagement Leadership Summits. Out of this dialogue, a picture of the state emerged that shows many areas of strength to be celebrated. The one-to-one conversations also allowed the Coalition to pinpoint areas in which civic education and engagement in Maryland show opportunities for growth and improvement.
The Coalition’s Government Relations Work Group collaborated to identify the following research-driven, actionable proposals based on the Coalition’s work:
1.   Credential civic education experiences with civic seals
2.   Strengthen civic education in Maryland schools
3.   Support high-quality and diverse social studies teacher pipelines
4.   Strengthen service learning
5.   Maintain strong curriculum standards and ensure high-quality assessments
6.   Establish a Maryland task force on civic education
Research Roundup
In December, researchers John Rogers (UCLA) and Joseph Kahne (Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG) at the University of California, Riverside) published Educating for a Diverse Democracy: The Chilling Role of Political Conflict in Blue, Purple, and Red Communities. The report reveals key findings around political conflict and its effect on the vital goal of preparing all youth to take part in a diverse democracy.
Particular implications are identified for administrators and school leadership, as well as those in “purple” communities. Read the full report and/or executive summary.
All-Member Meeting Recap
This month, we welcomed 21 new members (see list below) and celebrated the year-end federal policy win included in the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress on December 23. With the significant down payment of $23M appropriated for civic education (more than three times the 2022 federal appropriation), coalition members discussed how to build on this investment via appropriation requests and efforts to reintroduce the Civics Secures Democracy Act.
The remainder of the meeting included an overview of our coalition engagement strategy, opportunities to engage with affinity groups, and small-group discussions about how we are collaborating on the upcoming Civic Learning Week.
New Members
The CivXNow Coalition continues to grow, now standing at more than 275 member organizations! The latest additions include:
  Center for Black Educator Development
  Collaborative for Educational Services
  Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
  Complete College America
  Conner Prairie
  Emerging America
  Getting Better Foundation
  Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
  Korean War Legacy Foundation
  Lincoln Presidential Foundation
  Muslim Civic Coalition
  National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
  Neighborhood Associates Corporation
  PBS Wisconsin Education
  Periodic Presidents
  University of Southern California Center for Applied Research in Education
  Vote Smart
  We the Veterans
  Will Rogers Memorial Museum
  World History Digital Education Foundation
The Coalition remains deeply appreciative of member efforts and of all 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. To our Coalition members, thank you for your partnership.
If you are part of an organization interested in joining the CivXNow Coalition or learning more, please contact us at CivXNow@icivics.org.
Our Mission
CivXNow is a coalition of partners from diverse viewpoints working to create a culture shift that elevates civic education and engagement as a national priority in order to protect and strengthen America’s constitutional democracy. This includes building a shared commitment to ensure that all young people are prepared to assume their rights and responsibilities to participate in civic life and address the issues facing students, their families, and communities in our increasingly dynamic, polarized, and digital society.
To achieve this goal, CivXNow advocates for bipartisan federal and state legislation that supports implementation of state and local policies that reimagine and deliver relevant, inclusive, and engaging K-12 civic learning, both in- and out-of-school.
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 and the Einhorn Collaborative.
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