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Promoting good citizenship.

Promoting Good Citizenship

It's no secret that political and civic knowledge is lacking in
today's students. According to the 1998 NAEP Civics Assessment--the
most recent one, since it's offered only once a decade--nearly
one-third of high school seniors lack a basic understanding of how
American government operates. On the IEA Civic Education Study of
1999-2000, American students ranked 10 out of 28 countries on their
knowledge of democracy. The good news is that there are plenty of
high-quality civics programs available.

HERE ARE THREE:

What It Is       The Rainforest Alliance's   The Center for Civic
                 online curriculum: free,    Education's We the
                 standards-based lesson      People: Project Citizen:
                 plans, stories (available   a U.S. Dept. of
                 in English, Spanish and     Education-funded program
                 Portuguese) and projects    that teaches how to
                 on the importance of        monitor and influence
                 protecting the world's      public policy. Classes
                 natural resources. Also     research a local public
                 provides opportunities      policy problem, evaluate
                 for direct action.          alternative solutions,
                 Grades K-6.                 develop their own
                                             solution and try to pass
                 www.rainforest-alliance.    it. Grades 6-8.
                 org/education
                                             www.civiced.org/
                                             programs.php

Why We Like It   "The finished product of    "My students changed the
                 this interdisciplinary      local animal-control
                 unit was extremely          policy from allowing
                 comprehensive. The          officers to shoot dogs
                 lessons interfaced          to not allowing them to
                 literacy, mathematics,      even carry guns. They
                 science, social studies,    interacted with our
                 art and music. The          government, learned that
                 result was astounding,      there are two sides to
                 motivating and well done,   everything and the
                 evidencing collaboration,   importance of paying
                 satisfaction and            attention to the news.
                 effective learning."        The independence and
                                             ownership they took on
                 --Linda Richardson,         this was amazing."
                 principal,
                 Ann Street School,          --Melinda Meehan,
                 Newark, N.J.                sixth-grade teacher,
                                             Roy G. Eversole
                                             Middle School,
                                             Hazard, Ky.

What It Is       First Amendment Schools:
                 a collaboration between
                 the First Amendment
                 Center and the
                 Association for
                 Supervision and
                 Curriculum Development
                 that is developing models
                 to encourage all schools
                 to become laboratories
                 of democratic freedom.
                 Nearly 100 K-12 schools
                 (more than 70,000
                 students) are involved.

                 www.firstamendment
                 schools.org

Why We Like It   "In 2004, our high
                 school implemented a new
                 governance model based on
                 democratic town meetings.
                 At first, the kids didn't
                 really know how to act,
                 and neither did the
                 teachers. But the growth
                 of the leadership among
                 students has been
                 amazing. Kids who would
                 have never done so in
                 the past have stepped
                 forward. And four of the
                 six clusters decided on
                 their own to take the
                 time to build in some
                 leadership training."

                 --Brian Daniels, teacher,
                 Hudson High School,
                 Hudson, Mass.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:education on democracy
Author:Ullman, Ellen
Publication:District Administration
Article Type:Table
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Words:426
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