Showing posts from 2011

Federal Support for Civic Learning: A National Policy Update

by Shawn Healy, Resident Scholar and Director of Professional Development  As we enter the holiday season, Washington has provided the national civic learning community with little reason for cheer. During a time of severe fiscal constraints, coupled with a decade-long standardized testing craze and No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the social studies survive in a wounded state, and the health of our democracy is subsequently imperiled by a citizenry lacking the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes for informed and effective participation. Current developments in Washington warrant cautious optimism, as the social studies vie for their former seat at the core curriculum table. The federal government has a role to play in supporting teacher professional development and innovative instruction, not to mention addressing inequalities in civic learning opportunities based on demographics alone. However, after eliminating all federal funding for civics in 2011, and cutting back on Teac

Veterans Day: Making a Smooth Transition for Veterans

by Don Cooke, Senior VP of Philanthropy  “A man who is good enough to shed blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterward.” – President Theodore Roosevelt As we commemorate Veterans Day, it’s important that we not forget our nation's younger veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are experiencing new and complex challenges as they transition to civilian life. While advanced technology on the battlefield has saved many lives, it also has created a depth and breadth of physical and mental injuries never before experienced by our armed services or our nation. More than 300,000 Americans have returned from conflict with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a recent RAND report. The suicide rate among returning veterans is rising considerably. A veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes, according to a Center for a New American Security Suicide report. Veterans who left military service in the past decade have an unemployment rat