Mary Ann Zehr has a piece in EdWeek, unfortunately behind a firewall, that’s headlined, Celebrities Lend Weight to Promote Civics Education . She begins, “Actor Richard Dreyfuss, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, two retired U.S. Supreme Court justices, and several nonprofit organizations are each working on a piece of the puzzle of how to ensure that civics education gains a bigger foothold in the K-12 curriculum.” She quotes me about the trends in civic education. I say that it’s a myth we once taught civics and have since dropped it–but there are big disparities in the quality of civic experiences that different kids get.
Elia Powers has a piece on St. Louis Beacon entitled, “Engaging Young People’ (Part I)” It begins, “The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) is a regular stop on my morning web search. Based out of Tufts University near Boston, the nonpartisan research center puts out a lot of national reports on young voter trends and volunteering statistics – just the kind of snapshots that help convey an impression of how engaged (or not) young people are in civic life. Those snapshots are bound together in an album of sorts in a new book (have I given away the name already?), “Engaging Young People in Civic Life ,” out this month from Vanderbilt University Press. The book’s thesis is that young people are already largely engaged, and that too much attention has historically been paid to their shortcomings.” Powers then interviews the two editors, Jim Youniss and me.