The only way we can meet the many challenges currently facing California and the nation is with a citizenry that understands and participates in all aspects of civic life.

Join us in shining a light on the need for quality civic education and engagement to ensure that these important issues are ultimately part of meaningful state policy changes.

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Should Graduation Speakers Talk About Improving the World?

It's high school graduation season. A time for speeches that remind youth to draw on their talents to make their communities and the world a better place. As an educator who focuses on ways to support youth civic engagement, I love those speeches. But, they do leave me wondering, if this is a goal we laud on graduation day, why aren't students asked to focus on this more during high school? Schools and school districts aim to prepare students for college and for careers. Vitally important goals, but helping to make the world a better place is enormously important as well.

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Guest commentary: California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye delivers an important message

At a recent League of Women Voters' luncheon, I had the opportunity to listen to Tani Cantil-Sakauye speak eloquently about how she became California's first Asian-American chief justice despite a childhood where she had struggled to overcome shyness and find her voice. She attributed her decision to pursue a law career to a transformative experience taking a debate class in community college. When she was reluctant to take risks, her teacher would say, "How do you know that you can't do something when you have not lived that long?" Soon, she was beating the boys in debate, and it dawned on her that maybe law school was for her.

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K-12 Civic Learning Taskforce

Co-Chaired by the Honorable Judith McConnell and Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David Gordon, the Task Force will bring further definition to the skills, knowledge and dispositions students need to be informed and engaged democratic participants, and make recommendations in Summer 2014 for how these outcomes can be achieved for all students in California.

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