Showing posts from December, 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