civics   2318

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State lawmakers are considering requiring more civics lessons in New Jersey classrooms, though a proposal to make it a high school graduation requirement met resistance at its first hearing.

New Jersey high schools teach civics as part of U.S. government courses but not as a standalone course. That could change if a bill endorsed Thursday by the Assembly Education Committee, A1095, becomes law.
New Jersey requires two years of U.S. history and one year of world history in high school, and civics is required to be integrated into the courses. Arlene Gardner, executive director of the New Jersey Center for Civic Education, said a survey shows only 39 percent of schools in the state voluntarily offer a civics course to all students.

“Unlike 40 other states and the District of Columbia, New Jersey does not require a single civics course at any time in K-12,” Gardner said.

“Most New Jersey students have one week to one month of civic content as part of U.S. history in high school,” she said.

But Gardner has concerns about the bill, in part because she says the civics course should be taught in middle school to properly set a foundation. She also said any proposal should include funds to provide professional development to teachers, through her organization.

“There’s really no space in the high school curriculum to be adding an extra course,” Gardner said.

Deborah Bradley, director of government affairs for the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association says the state’s social studies standards are currently under review and that if civics isn’t fully represented, that’s a better way to improve it.

“By adding another high school graduation requirement, there’s only so much time in an academic day and an academic year,” Bradley said.

As currently written, the bill directs the state to require one course specifically in civics or United States government, beginning with the class that’s currently in 7th grade. Education groups say it’s unclear if the idea is for a full-year course or even a fourth required year of social studies.

“Is the civics course for a full year or a semester? Because if it was a full year, that could be a hardship on the district to fit it into the schedule,” said Sharon Seyler, a legislative advocate for the New Jersey School Boards Association.

The idea was endorsed by the Assembly Education Committee, but bill sponsor Assemblywoman Joann Downey agreed to meet with concerned groups to explore changes to the proposal.

The bill is one of four currently filed in Trenton seeking to improve civics education. One focuses on middle schools, another on both middle and high schools, and another would require students to pass a test identical to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Civics test as part of high school graduation requirements.
Campaign  Civics 
4 days ago by ccenews
Home | Apolitical
Lisa's group for building solutions around the world
government  civics  tech 
7 days ago by zephoria
Opinion | The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know
Feb. 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist.

A few years ago, the leaders of the College Board, the folks who administer the SAT college entrance exam, asked themselves a radical question: Of all the skills and knowledge that we test young people for that we know are correlated with success in college and in life, which is the most important? Their answer: the ability to master “two codes” — computer science and the U.S. Constitution......please show their work: “Why these two codes?”

Answer: if you want to be an empowered citizen in our democracy — able to not only navigate society and its institutions but also to improve and shape them, and not just be shaped by them — you need to know how the code of the U.S. Constitution works. And if you want to be an empowered and adaptive worker or artist or writer or scientist or teacher — and be able to shape the world around you, and not just be shaped by it — you need to know how computers work and how to shape them.....the internet, big data and artificial intelligence now the essential building blocks of almost every industry....mastering the principles and basic coding techniques that drive computers and other devices “will be more prepared for nearly every job,”....“At the same time, the Constitution forms the foundational code that gives shape to America and defines our essential liberties — it is the indispensable guide to our lives as productive citizens.”......“Understanding how government works is the essence of power. To be a strong citizen, you need to know how the structures of our government work and how to operate within them.”
African-Americans  civics  coding  constitutions  education  engaged_citizenry  foundational  high_schools  indispensable  individual_agency  life_skills  op-ed  public_education  questions  SAT  show_your_work  students  Tom_Friedman  women 
7 days ago by jerryking
Since Parkland: 12 Months. 1,200 Kids Killed by Gun Violence.
student journalists profile all the kids killed by gun violence in the last year
civics  journalism 
8 days ago by emerysnyder
Why U.S. cities should stop whining and embrace winter - Curbed
So cool: Edmonton, Scandinavia places that avert winter-month isolation via city planning, public spaces, creating gear and clothes that are nice + warm, etc.
winter  weather  snow  ice  architecture  publicplanning  fashion  civics 
9 days ago by emmacarlson
In conversation with Gretchen Wilson-Prangley - MuseumNext
Part of this has to do with how museums are perceived by many people in South Africa, and the disconnect for people between what we’re doing and what they think museums are about. In South Africa today, many museums are relics from the apartheid era, and as a result are deserted and dusty and completely dead.

We are trying to model a new kind of museum, one that feels alive and responsive; like a manifestation of the world we want to live in. When I lived in New York, I wouldn’t miss the free community dance party on the first Saturday of every month at the Brooklyn Museum. Being part of the vast diversity of Brooklyn, shaking it up in a museum ballroom, is literally my idea of what heaven might be like.

But the truth is, segregation and keeping people apart was what defined colonialism, and later apartheid. Apartheid literally means “apartness” or “separateness.” We’re trying to dismantle this by modeling a new way to come together. Through children playing freely, creating and discovering together in a safe, warm and welcoming place.
museums  civics  play 
25 days ago by edsonm
Eleanor Roosevelt on the Power of Personal Conviction and Our Individual Responsibility in Social Change – Brain Pickings
In a sense, nearly all great civilizations that perished did so because they had crystallized, because they were incapable of adapting themselves to new conditions, new methods, new points of view. It is as though people would literally rather die than change."

also: on education policy and critical thinking in schools
also: on action
on civics and responsibility
brainpickings  politics  rome  change  education  action  civics  government 
29 days ago by emmacarlson
Teenagency: how young people can create a better world - RSA
#youth #civics #for:UNLive #data #research
Tweet from The RSA @theRSAorg, 13 Aug 2018
“Just 5% of adults think that young people today are very likely to do social action, despite 68% of young people reporting they have already done so.”
/ Links to report,

13th August 2018
“In this research we have sought to understand more about the motivation and perceived ability of young people to make a difference in their communities and how creative they see themselves as being. The opinions of young people were also compared with those of older people.”

“Young people today have a strong desire to help others but many do not feel like they can make a difference: 84% of young people want to help others but only 52% believe that they can make a positive difference in their communities. Some young people believe that their age and inexperience are limiting, but report building confidence in their ability to make a difference through participation.”

“Creative young people feel more confident that they can make a difference in their communities: 61% of young people who describe themselves as a creative person believe that they can make a positive difference in their community, compared with 34% of young people who do not consider themselves creative.”

“We need to provide more opportunities for young people to shape social action activities: young people welcome the opportunity to shape the social action they participate in, but currently, less than a quarter of young people have the chance to select the problem they want to solve. Social action that young people shape offers opportunities for personal development that are particularly important to young people from low socio-economic backgrounds who may not get these chances in other parts of their lives.”

[Note too that there is a “teen agency literature review”]
youth  civics  data  research 
5 weeks ago by edsonm
How Taiwan's online democracy may show future of humans and machines
The problem of deciding how we want our nation to live together — democracy — has not been about not being able to make decisions, because we already have laws, regulations, norms and culture pretty much documented, even with pen and paper. The real problem has been that we are not able to follow those shared standards because many of them are quite outdated. The speed our society evolves has passed the speed of how we update our shared collective intelligence.
civics  platforms  thefuture  ai  collaboration 
5 weeks ago by edsonm

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