District Administration - October 2012 - (Page 57)

Georgia Humanities Council Teaching Civic By Dawn Reiss Why Engagement Is Essential Teaching the fundamentals of American government builds the foundation for more engaged citizens in the future. I n the weeks leading up to a presidential election, it’s hard to dismiss the importance of civic education, with campaign speeches, debates and advertisements blaring everywhere. Yet the National Assessment of Education Progress reports that only one-fourth of high school graduates are proficient in topics such as the American political system, principles of democracy, world affairs and the roles of citizens. What’s even more astounding is that just 38 percent of Americans surveyed can name all three branches of government, and a third can’t name a single one, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The same study noted that twice as many respondents could name a judge on the hit television show “American Idol.” “There is a general skepticism that kids are learning less,” says Mike Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education-policy think tank within a nonprofit organization. “We know that if you test kids on their civic knowledge they do pretty poorly, but it’s probably been that way for a long time.” Since 2001, when Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act, teachers have focused on teaching standards in Five students from Lakeside High School in Georgia compete in the annual We the People state competition in 2010, testing their comprehension and understanding of the state’s laws, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and how they apply to their daily lives. Winners of the state competition then attend the Washington D.C. national finals, which this group attended. www.DistrictAdministration.com October 2012 57 http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - October 2012

District Administration - October 2012
Contents
From the Editor
News Update
Facilities
The Democrats and Republicans’ National Education Platforms
District Profile
Administrator Profile
The Challenge of Assessing Project-Based Learning
Why Teaching Civic Engagement Is Essential
Superintendents’ Frustration Grows, but Intangible Rewards Remain High
Not Your Grandparents’ Vocational School
CIO News
Keeping Pace with Technology Innovation
Managing BYOD Effectively
New Products
Noteworthy Books
Professional Opinion
Professional Opinion
Problem Solution
Going Mobile

District Administration - October 2012

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