February 2023
Civic Learning Week: How Partners Are Engaging
Inspired by local and regional events over the past two years, the first-ever national Civic Learning Week (March 6-10, 2023) seeks to highlight the importance of civic education in sustaining and strengthening constitutional democracy in the United States. By emphasizing the civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions that provide the foundation for an informed and engaged populace, Civic Learning Week aims to energize the movement to prioritize civic education across the country. Programming throughout the week will validate the contributions of educators to our nation, celebrate civic learning as a dedicated field, and disseminate the great work of organizations and leaders in the field.
CivXNow Coalition members have stepped up to promote these goals with many powerful events and diverse strategies, including:
⭐️   In-person events, such as the week’s opening forum at the National Archives, state events, exhibits, and in-person programming at museums and cultural institutions.
⭐️   Thought-provoking online events on topics ranging from disability history to a conversation with best-selling author and diplomat Richard Haass.
⭐️   Social media events featuring Former Members of Congress who will share their appreciation for their civics teachers, a collaborative event by several partners to show appreciation for civic learning all-stars, and an #sschat.
To learn more about these and many other great programs, please visit our Civic Learning Week calendar.
Inside this newsletter:
  State Bill Tracking Overview
  Announcing State Affiliate Grant Recipients
  Research Roundup
  New Members
State Bill Tracking Overview
So far in the 2023 state legislative season, more than 96 bills related to civic education have been introduced in 32 states. Many of the bills being considered are the result of the direct work of member state coalitions and staff, and are aligned with the following areas of the CivXNow State Policy Menu:
  Assessments (9)
  Civics task forces or commissions (4)
  Media literacy (15)
  Additional course requirements (10)
  Student representation (4)
  Civic seals (1)
  Cultural relevance (6)
  Teachers’ professional development (3)
  Funding for civics (6)
A sampling of this year's active legislation includes:
  A bipartisan bill in Alaska to start a Civic Education Commission requiring a new semester-long civics course in high school and a civics assessment/test as a graduation requirement.
  Connecticut has three bills moving this session, including one that would establish the Connecticut Civics Education Task Force.
  Bipartisan legislation in Minnesota would enhance course time by including one credit in civics in either the 11th or 12th grade.
  In Missouri, a couple of bills reflect a bipartisan effort around media literacy and critical thinking through a pilot media literacy project in 5–7 school districts.
  The Montana Board of Public Education unanimously supported the Superintendent's addition of civics or government and financial literacy or economics to the current graduation requirements for Montana high school students.
  A bill in Nebraska proposes to add a student representative to each school district's Committee on American Civics, which ensures that the social studies curriculum provides foundational civic knowledge and aligns with state standards.
We expect several more pieces of state legislation will be introduced during the 2023 state legislative session, and we are tracking all civics-related bills. Check out the interactive database, updated weekly on the CivXNow Coalition website, to track pending bills for this legislative session.
Announcing State Affiliate Grant Recipients
We are thrilled to announce the recipients of the third annual CivXNow-affiliated state coalition regrants to support coalition building, policy progress, and implementation at the state level. This year, we were able to increase funding to a total of more than $250,000 to aid efforts in the following 15 states, all representing a diversity of regions and policy priorities:
  Arizona Civics Coalition
  Californians for Civic Learning
  Indiana Bar Foundation
  Kentucky Civic Education Coalition
  Maryland Civic Education Coalition
  Michigan Center for Civic Education
  Nebraska Civics Coalition
  New Hampshire Civic Learning Coalition
  North Carolina Civic Education Coalition
  PA Civics
  Rhode Island Civic Learning Coalition
  Utah Civic Learning Collaborative
  West Virginia Civics Coalition
  Wisconsin Civic Learning Coalition
Research Roundup
CSG Healthy States National Task Force Report
In recognition that the health of a state demands a holistic approach, the 2021–22 Council of State Governments (CSG) Healthy States National Task Force included civic health as one of its four key policy focuses along with economic and workforce health, fiscal health, and human health. Read the December 2022 report.
Stubborn Responsiveness of Youth Voter Turnout to Civic Education
In November, Penn State University researchers Jilli Jung and Maithreyi Gopalan published a working paper entitled, “The Stubborn Responsiveness of Youth Voter Turnout to Civic Education,” in which they address the impact of the Civic Education Initiative (CEI), a project of the Joe Foss Institute to pass state laws requiring students to successfully pass selected questions from the U.S. Naturalization Test in order to graduate. While acknowledging that voter turnout is one of many goals of stronger civic education policies, Jung and Gopalan specifically examine whether, in the 18 states with such a requirement in place, students are more likely to vote in federal elections.
New Members
The CivXNow Coalition continues to grow, now standing at more than 280 member organizations! The latest additions include:
  American Institutes for Research (AIR)
  Civic Genius
  Education Development Center
  Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE)
  Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy
  Unify America
  USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future
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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