The Need and Urgency

An Alliance Burton Tech High School student explains his ideas behind a bilingual Civic Action Project (CAP) regarding animals.

An Alliance Burton Tech High School student explains his ideas behind a bilingual Civic Action Project (CAP) regarding animals.

When less than half of high school seniors view involvement in state and local issues as their responsibility, it is time for the alarms to sound and for people who value democracy to take action.

There has never been a better time to revitalize civic learning in California. The state is in the midst of sweeping systemic changes to our education system, creating an unprecedented opportunity to make civic learning an educational priority. However, once this window of opportunity closes, there is no telling when California will have another chance to address this vital issue on such a large, sweeping scale.

Educational transformation underway in California includes the adoption of the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, the Next Generation Science Standards, and English Language Development Standards; the introduction of the Smarter Balanced Assessment program; and a historic shift to Local Control Funding Formula which gives local communities more input in budgeting decisions and setting educational priorities.

As California adopts these progressive education reforms, it is critical that civic education is not left behind, especially because civic learning will contribute to the long-term success of these initiatives and give our youth the best chance for a fulfilling, empowered future.

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