October 2015 Newsletter Print E-mail

The launch of the James Madison Legacy Project, the We the People National Invitational, and more in this month's newsletter.

james madison project

James Madison Project to Provide High-Quality Professional Development

We are happy to announce that the Center for Civic Education has been awarded a three-year, $17 million grant from the Department of Education to conduct the James Madison Legacy Project, which will bring high-quality professional development in civics and government to 2,025 teachers serving more than 202,500 high-need students nationwide.

The project will focus on identifying cost-effective means of providing high quality professional development programs that are useful in enhancing the knowledge and skills required of teachers to promote high-needs and other students' attainment of state standards in civics and government.

The James Madison Legacy Project is made possible by a generous grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program.

Congressman and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Congressman John Lewis of Georgia sent a bipartisan letter in support of the Center's application for the SEED grant to the Secretary of Education. The letter was signed by 141 members of Congress.

"I am pleased that Center for Civic Education was awarded vital grant funding to support civic education in our local schools and across the United States," Representative McCarthy said in a press release. "The backbone of a free society is a citizenry knowledgeable in, as President George Washington said, 'the science of government,' and who understands the principles enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and America's other Founding Documents. Over the years, it has been a great honor of mine to support and contribute to the 'We the People' competitions that creatively engage the future generation of leaders with the storied history of our nation. This grant funding will help ensure that teachers have access to training and resources so they can teach our children about what makes the more than 200 year old American experiment unique and great."

The U.S. Department of Education formally announced the three-year award on October 5. Funding for the first year  $6.1 million.

In addition to in-person professional development institutes, the James Madison Legacy Project will also support the development of an online civic education teacher-education program. These video programs will feature prominent scholars and will be used by mentor teachers as they assist their fellow educators with civic education professional development. Ultimately they will be made available to all teachers across the country.



nationalinvitational 2016

Start Planning for the We the People National Invitational

Attention high school and middle school We the People classes! You are invited to be a part of the We the People National Invitational on April 29-May 3, 2016, in Washington, D.C.!  Modeled after the longstanding National Finals, the National Invitational offers an opportunity for high school classes not attending the National Finals and, in a separate division, middle school classes to compete at the national level. In an action-packed five days, We the People classes from across the country will have the opportunity to demonstrate and expand their knowledge of civics and government. Each student will participate in simulated congressional hearings and experience our nation's capital. A district or state win is not required to participate. This event is open to all high school and middle school classes that participate in a competitive hearing at any level during the 2015-16 school year. It's a tremendous way to culminate your We the People year and broaden your students' views by exposing them to an active, hands-on way of learning. Bring civics to life for your students. Start planning today!

wethepeople ebook

Florida Schools Make Gains in We the People Ebook Pilot Test

Florida We the People state coordinator Annette Boyd Pitts noted significant learning gains from the preceding year in middle schools conducting pilot projects in the use of the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution Level 2 enhanced ebook. Schools with particularly noticeable gains on the Florida End of Course assessment in civics included Charles S. Rushe, Lillie Evans, and Sanford Middle Schools


american legacy

American Legacy

More than a pocket Constitution, American Legacy is a collection of documents that encompass essential ideas of American democracy. These seminal works are arranged chronologically beginning with the Mayflower Compact. American Legacy includes the full text of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and features excerpts from The Federalist, Chief Justice John Marshall's opinion in Marbury v. Madison, George Washington's "Farewell Address", Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address, among many others. Also included is an extensive index to the U.S. Constitution. Available as an ebook or paperback. Learn more.

This newsletter is a brief bulletin designed to keep you informed about some of the Center for Civic Education's news and events. Information presented includes news from around the country, news from other countries in the Center's Civitas International network, grant and award opportunities, and program updates and clarifications. If you have pertinent material that you would like to include in future newsletters, please contact John Hale.