at the ECS

p>I’m still at the Education Commission of

the States in Denver, discussing state standards in civics. One distinguished

colleague argued that no educational reform really succeeds unless a state

has all of the following elements in place: appropriate standards,

tests, courses, textbooks, funding, and professional development opportunities.

(It can also be useful to have appropriate admissions requirements at

the state university.) Unfortunately, all the elements of an effective

civics program are missing in most states today. This is a serious matter,

for young people are being inadequately prepared to participate in politics

in civic life, and consequently many are not involved at all. (We make

this general argument in The

Civic Mission of Schools report.)