Congress considers honoring Christina Taylor-Green by supporting civil discussion in schools

House resolution 181 proposes to honor “the memory of Christina-Taylor Green by encouraging schools to teach civic education and civil discourse in public schools.” I love the bill for three reasons:

First, the very best way to honor the life of an exemplary 9-year old citizen (who was killed while trying to participate in a public dialog with her elected representative) is to encourage such experiences for other children.

Second, the bill, while it is simply a resolution that has no teeth, does include several worthy provisions. If the resolution passed, Congress would recognize “the importance of returning the teaching of civic education and civil discourse to schools, especially for students in grades 6 through 12;… [encourage] the Secretary of Education to direct schools receiving Federal funding to include instruction in civic education and civil discourse; [and encourage] schools and teachers to conduct educational programming on the importance and methods of civic education and civil discourse.”

Third, the short text of the bill cites us, accurately and explicitly:

    Whereas empirical evidence demonstrates a strong link between civic education and participation in community and public service, and according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement [that’s us!], students who take courses in civics are at least 50 percent more likely to volunteer and to help solve community problems;

    Whereas students who participate in classroom civil debate are, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, more civically engaged, being at least 60 percent more likely to follow the news, sign a written petition, and be involved in organizations outside school;

    Whereas, according to a study by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, students involved in civic activities to fulfill a class requirement are 22 percent more likely to graduate from college …

I say, pass H. RES. 181!

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