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The Answer Sheet Archive: Civics Education

Are we still capable of educating for 'us-ness?'

Educator Marion Brady writes: Maintaining a viable democracy requires an educated citizenry willing, able, even eager, to talk about matters like these, matters having to do with who we are as a people, why we do the things we do, and where we’re headed. Those conversations require at least some understanding of the past, national character, economics, politics, government, science, religion, and so on-intellectual tools that allow us to trace the trends of our era, the curves of history, the causes and consequences of change. Those were the kinds of conversations thoughtful educators used to try to encourage ... Now, not so much."

By Valerie Strauss  | October 15, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Civics Education, Guest Bloggers, Marion Brady, National Standards  | Tags:  common standards, gettysburg address, joel klein, marion brady, michelle rhee, ronald reagan, school reform  
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Things you should know about Labor Day

Since most of you have the day off on Labor Day, take a few minutes to read this and learn a little about the holiday. Then tell your kids.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 6, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Civics Education, History  | Tags:  history of labor, labor day, labor day facts  
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What Americans don't know about their history

A new poll gauging American knowledge on a basic question about the nation’s history -- “From which country did the United States win its independence?" -- is either good news or bad news, depending on your expectations.

By Valerie Strauss  | July 3, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Civics Education, History  | Tags:  civics education, knowledge of july 4th, marist poll, marist poll on independence, naep, naep and civics, national assessment of educational progress, what americans know  
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Why Arizona targeted ethnic studies

This is not a defense of ethnic studies in general. This is not a defense of an ethnic studies program in particular. What follows is an open letter written by Tom Horne, Arizona’s longtime secretary of education, that explains why he disliked an ethnic studies program in the Tuscon Unified School District so much that he pushed through a law that he hoped would end it. I find his motivations highly revealing.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 25, 2010; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Civics Education, History  | Tags:  arizona and ethnic studies, arizona department of education, arizona law on ethnic studies, ethnic studies, ethnic studies law, history, mexican-american studies, tom horne  
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Volcanic ash may disrupt college admissions process

Add one more thing that may be disrupted by the eruption of a volcano in Iceland and the ash cloud spreading above Europe: U.S. college admissions.

By Valerie Strauss  | April 22, 2010; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Civics Education  | Tags:  association for college admissions counseling, college admissions process, effects of volcano eruption, may 1st acceptance date, nacac, volcano and college admissions  
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How to build real ‘American Schools’

The controversy over a school girl disciplined by her teacher for refusing to stand up or recite the Pledge of Allegiance threw a spotlight on the First Amendment and how little most of our schools do to educate young people to be smart, active citizens in American democracy. We talk a lot about the need for kids to be able to compete in the 21st century economy, but far less about how to create citizens capable of participating fully and smartly in our democracy’s civic life. Educator Sam Chaltain, in his new book, "American Schools: The Art of Creating a Democratic Learning Community," tell us how.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 28, 2010; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Civics Education, Sam Chaltain  | Tags:  democratic learning communities, first amendment  
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Older Entries in This Category »

Passions high over the Pledge, Valerie Strauss , February 24, 2010
First Amendment folly in Moco school, Valerie Strauss , February 23, 2010
Listening to 'I Have a Dream', Valerie Strauss , January 18, 2010
School seizes 9/11 shirts of Arab-American students , Valerie Strauss , January 11, 2010
Readers talk back, Valerie Strauss , December 21, 2009
P.S.: Who Watched Obama's Back-to-School Speech, Valerie Strauss , September 11, 2009
A Lesson on Labor Day, Valerie Strauss , September 7, 2009
Kids Should Listen to the U.S. President, Valerie Strauss , September 4, 2009
 
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