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Three Lessons for Policy Makers to Encourage Promoting Civic Innovation

Hollie Russon Gilman | Posted 11.11.2015 | Impact
Hollie Russon Gilman

Technology is creating new expectations for how citizens engage with their world. Governments must adapt to keep pace or risk the dissatisfaction of those they represent. The problems are large and complex. But civic innovation can serve as an important part of the solution.

Crowdsourcing Dystopia

Lorelei Kelly | Posted 08.26.2015 | Technology
Lorelei Kelly

On offer is a belief system that promises to upend the status quo, to change the world and take you with it. Investors commit at different levels from different places, but everyone involved belongs to a unified cause. Once in, you're a team of heroic proportions, larger than life.

If I Must Accept The Hobby Lobby Decision, You Must Accept Marriage Equality

Domenick Scudera | Posted 07.27.2015 | Gay Voices
Domenick Scudera

According to Senator Cruz, if you like a decision, the court is terrific and doing our country a great favor. But if you disagree with a decision, the court is an imperialist body of out-of-touch, snooty elitists.

Perfecting Our Union Through Personal Ties

Ilir Zherka | Posted 07.02.2015 | Politics
Ilir Zherka

Together, we can perfect the Union by strengthening our civic life. But to do this, everyday Americans and our leaders need to take action. There are steps we can take today to help secure our future.

Educating for Democracy: The Rule of Law and the Law of the Rulers -- A Lesson for Memorial Day

Joel Shatzky | Posted 05.24.2015 | College
Joel Shatzky

Since the media have been regularly reporting on indictments and investigations of corporate crime and those responsible for billions of dollars through illegal activity, it becomes apparent that these rich and powerful figures, who now have "the best government money can buy," enjoy a "law of the rulers" instead of the "rule of law" for which many Americans have fought and died.

On the Importance of Civic Education

Chris Dodd | Posted 05.13.2015 | Education
Chris Dodd

Last month, the National Center for Education Statistics revealed that only 23 percent of American eighth graders scored at or above proficiency in civics, and only 18 percent in American history. These numbers are particularly discouraging in the face of the important events that all of us across the country have watched unfold in recent weeks and months.

The New Progressive Agenda: A Return to Citizenship

Toni Morrison | Posted 05.13.2015 | Politics
Toni Morrison

The difference between understanding oneself as a "citizen" and understanding oneself as a "taxpayer" is not merely wide; it is antagonistic. A citizen thinks primarily about his or her community. A taxpayer thinks mostly about himself or herself. The Progressive Agenda seeks to return us to the adult responsibility of being citizens to each other.

Joy Resmovits

Shockingly Few Students Are Proficient In U.S. History | Joy Resmovits | Posted 04.30.2015 | Politics

Which of these do the governments of Canada, France and Australia have in common: a) They are controlled by the military; b) They have constitutions t...

Give All Americans a Mandatory Civics Exam

Steven Kurlander | Posted 03.23.2015 | Impact
Steven Kurlander

Think about it. We rarely discuss or even ponder what it means to be an American in our daily lives. When was the last time you sat down and said to yourself, or thought for a moment, or even said in a prayer: "Thank God that I am American"?

How Birth Year Legacies Can Better Our Country

Ralph Nader | Posted 03.11.2015 | Politics
Ralph Nader

These legacies can take the form of significant self-renewing, nonprofit, civic institutions either at the national or regional level. No hidden agendas, no obscure profit motives, no self-aggrandizement; just extending the torch of wisdom, foresight, and imagining brighter futures

Renewing Higher Education's Mission of Democracy

Alan D. Solomont | Posted 01.13.2015 | Education
Alan D. Solomont

Let's begin by rekindling a public appreciation for democratic education, and let's make education for democracy central to the function of a 21st century college or university, not just an option for especially enthusiastic students.

News For High Schools: Digital Media Plus Teaching Equals Support For Freedom

Eric Newton | Posted 11.17.2014 | Education
Eric Newton

This year, for the first time, American high school students show a greater overall appreciation for the First Amendment than do adults.

Would You Pass the US Citizenship Test? Take This Quiz!

Michael Shammas | Posted 10.22.2014 | College
Michael Shammas

The following questions were taken from the list of 100 civics questions. Admittedly, these are some of the harder ones. Could you pass?

Luck Not Merit: Inequality and Opportunity in America Today

Elizabeth Evans | Posted 10.15.2014 | Education
Elizabeth Evans

Three years ago, we launched New Voice Strategies, a nonprofit designed to close the empathy gap by giving individuals a more direct say in our public institutions.

Authentic Civics Learning at BxDCA High School

Alan Singer | Posted 10.04.2014 | Education
Alan Singer

Bravo students, teachers, and administrators at BxDCA high school for real learning, not the phony stuff sold by Common Core and the high-stakes testing companies.

A Fragile Union

William E. White | Posted 09.01.2014 | Politics
William E. White

The United States of America: we take the name of our nation for granted. From the perspective of nearly two and a half centuries of history, it appears obvious that we should be one country, bound together by constitutional principles, stretching from the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans.

Common Sense Missing in Debate on American Public Education

Elizabeth Evans | Posted 08.30.2014 | Education
Elizabeth Evans

Change is hard and change is scary. So, it's all the more important that when we're making big changes -- especially to essential public services like education -- we take more care to focus on the goal and bring all the stakeholders together.

Information Overload

William E. White | Posted 08.05.2014 | Education
William E. White

We can educate our children by rote, but we will surely lose the future unless we embrace our enlightenment heritage of reason, logic, and innovation.

The Juror Voices Project

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson | Posted 08.04.2014 | Politics
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

Every year millions of Americans are summoned to jury service. Yet, no organized, centralized space exists to collect or share what jurors think about this experience. Juror voices are lost. And, this is a loss for the court system and American democracy.

The Death of Local Politics

William E. White | Posted 07.12.2014 | Politics
William E. White

If you look closely, there is evidence that local politics can still be critically important. The real advances made, for example, in a host of issues.

We Don't Use That History Stuff Anyway, Do We?

William E. White | Posted 05.06.2014 | Education
William E. White

Americans are terribly present-minded. We are mostly concerned about the here and the now. Please consider for just a moment the very unique role of the individual in our American story and what it can teach us about the critical role of citizens in a republic.

Campaign to Add Citizenship to the Common Core Standards

Alan Singer | Posted 01.23.2014 | Education
Alan Singer

It may be that the prospect of an active, informed, educated citizenry is so frightening because it would begin to question how the United States ended up with so many elected officials who are not only ignorant about science and history, but are willfully ignorant and want to impose their ignorance on the rest of us.

An Open Letter to American Citizens on Constitution Day

Sandra Day O’Connor | Posted 11.17.2013 | Politics
Sandra Day O’Connor

Throughout American history, our country's greatest political and social movements have been fueled by the actions and ideas of an active and engaged citizenry.

24 Under 24: Youth Who Are Keeping Our Democracy Strong

Alex Wirth | Posted 09.02.2013 | Impact
Alex Wirth

Each of these young people is an example of what happens when youth perspectives are brought into government. When young people interact with government they bring innovative ideas, motivation and often a greater spirit of compromise than we currently see among many adult officials.

Our Unethical Republic

William E. White | Posted 07.17.2013 | Politics
William E. White

Obedience to the law is not enough. Americans demand legal and ethical behavior from themselves and their fellow citizens.