the Power of Democracy in California

(Durham, NC) For about a year, I have been assisting a task force called “the Power of Democracy” that formed in California under the active leadership of the state’s Chief Justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye. Members have been thoughtful and dogged about promoting civic learning and civic engagement in their state, working with their state education agency, the legislature, the judiciary, and key nongovernmental organizations, discussing significant policy changes, giving awards, holding public meetings, and otherwise drawing attention to civic education. I am optimistic that real improvements will come in California.

I’m able to write all this now because the Power of Democracy has a new public face in the form of an excellent website. If you explore it, you’ll see a new article by the leader of the California Chamber of Commerce arguing that business needs better civic education; the “six promising practices” of civics (which originated at CIRCLE) used as their definition of what works; and my own analysis of California’s current civic ed. policies. But the most promising aspect of the project is the strong team that has come together to advocate for civic education in a way that emphasizes equity in opportunities and civic action as the desired outcome.

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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.