March 2020 Newsletter

News from the Center for Civic Education

National Finals and Invitational to Be Held Using Live Video, Distance-Learning Resources for Civics Teachers, and More in This Month's Newsletter.


Turning Crisis into Opportunity: We the People National Finals and Invitational to Be Held Online

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down schools nationwide, but it hasn't stopped our dedicated We the People students and teachers and the network of volunteers and Center staff who support them. Instead of cancelling the events entirely, the We the People National Finals and Invitational will be held live using videoconferencing software. This year's National Finals competition has a name that reflects its unique and optimistic character: the We the People National Finals Challenge.

Learn more.


Rising to the Challenge of Coronavirus: Distance-Learning Resources for Civics Teachers

We're all in this together. The shutdown of thousands of public schools across the country has teachers looking for free online resources to use for distance-learning lessons. The Center has made the full text of the We the People Level 2 (middle school) and Level 3 (high school) ebooks available for free to teachers and their students through Actively Learn. Our Learn.civiced.org website features two free online courses and a Civics Forum, and we're adding more resources all the time.

Learn more.


How Not to Lose Academic Ground During the Crisis

As we get used to widespread school closures, you can find some helpful resources in this recent Civics Forum post, "How Not to lose Academic Ground: What's out there?" To share your list of helpful resources, strategies, content, and anecdotes for online instruction, join the Civics Forum today! The Civics Forum, on our Learn.civiced.org platform, is a space where educators can discuss everything related to civics and government and share instructional ideas.

Learn more.


National Commission Recommends $450 Million Annually for Civic Education and Service-Learning

The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service released its final report on March 25. The commission was tasked by Congress with reviewing selective service and considering how to increase public service. The Center provided public comment and input into the report. The need for civic education was a prominent recommendation of the commission, which calls for a substantial investment in federal support for civic education and service-learning programs, including hiring additional civics teachers. The commission recommended that Congress appropriate $450 million per year to support civic education and service-learning. We the People Teacher Ashley Vascik of Boonsboro High School in Maryland was quoted in the report on the impact We the People has made on her and her students. She said, "Ultimately, the value of civic education cannot be overestimated. It is vital that the students of today are provided with the education needed to be the active, engaged citizens of tomorrow."

Read the full report.


Application Deadline Extended!

Apply now for this free opportunity! The application deadlines for the 2020 Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics have been extended to April 30. The Academies will provide high school teachers and high-need students with the opportunity to work with great scholars while improving their understanding of the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution. We ask for your understanding that although the Academies are scheduled for July 11-25, 2020, they may be postponed or modified depending on health and safety considerations.

Learn more.


Pauline Weaver Elected Secretary of the American Bar Association

Pauline A. Weaver, president of the Center for Civic Education's board of directors, has been elected secretary of the American Bar Association. She takes office for a three-year term at the end of the ABA's annual meeting in August 2020. The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

Learn more.


Kathy Hand Receives Martin Luther King Medal of Distinguished Service

We the People state coordinator Kathy Hand was presented with the Martin Luther King Medal of Distinguished Service by King County, Washington, councilmember Dave Upthegrove on February 25. The award recognizes people whose work has answered the question posed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "What are you doing for others?" Upthegrove said, "Kathy has made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of kids throughout King County and throughout the state. Our democracy is stronger because of her." Hand has worked for more than 30 years as executive director of Civic Education Washington State, the nonprofit that administers We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, Project Citizen, and other curricular and teacher professional development programs that provide civic education to Washington students and teachers.


Quick Quiz! A writ of habeas corpus orders government to

A. deliver a person it has arrested to court and explain why that person has been arrested.
B. deliver a person it has arrested to prison and set the date of the pretrial hearing.
C. inform a person of their rights at the time of their arrest and allow them to contact an attorney.
D. declare a person guilty of violating the law and set the punishment without a court trial.

Read on to learn the answer!


Voices for Suffrage Teaches Women's Struggle for Voting Rights Using Primary Sources

This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which recognized the right of women to vote. The free Voices for Suffrage web app uses primary sources to tell the story of woman suffragists and their fight for equal voting rights. Students learn about the tactics, arguments, key people, and events that led to the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. The app also helps students gain literacy by analyzing and understanding primary sources. Supplementary resources and additional questions and activities are available. Voices for Suffrage is funded by a grant from the Library of Congress.

Learn more.


Quiz Answer!

A. deliver a person it has arrested to court and explain why that person has been arrested. (see episode 3935)

For more quizzes and learning opportunities, check out the 60-Second Civics podcast and daily civics quiz!


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