The State of California is taking the decline in civic engagement (discussed in a previous LEAD column in December) very seriously and the current educational environment is primed to make adjustments in civic learning due to Common Core and LCFF/LCAP implementation. Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil- Sakauye and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson have teamed up to form the California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning. The task force studied statewide civic engagement and developed a detailed blueprint to address four key areas for schools and students to incorporate in grades K-12 civics education:
- Curriculum, Instructional Practices, and Resources
- Professional Learning
- Community and Business Partnerships
- Student Assessment and School Accountability
Stay tuned to this column for more details on these four key areas, as well as desired outcomes and a description of “The Six Proven Practices” shown to improve the quality and effectiveness of civics learning. In the meantime, you can watch this short video from Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye describing the importance of civics. Also, you can view the second half of this interview (start at 4:25) with Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson where he explains the need to incorporate civics in public education.
Its very clear that in order to reverse this trend in civics apathy, we need to teach the next generation why and how to engage – and maybe in doing so, we will revive our own passion for the democratic process.