October 2020 Newsletter

News from the Center for Civic Education

Resources for Teaching the Elections, Research Proving the Effectiveness of We the People, and More in This Month's Newsletter.


Center for Civic Education Joins Other Civics Organizations in Supporting Our Democratic Process

On the eve of the 2020 elections, the Center has joined iCivics, the Bill of Rights Institute, Facing History and Ourselves, Generation Citizen, and the Mikva Challenge to express our collective commitment to the democratic process and a bedrock principle of American representative democracy: the peaceful continuation or transfer of power after a free and fair election. Other organizations can indicate their support here. Each organization is committed to sharing free resources related to the electoral process, such as the Center's voting lessons and our podcast series on voting, elections, and representation. You can read more about our elections-related resources in this newsletter. On Wednesday, November 4, at 7 p.m. Eastern join Jeffrey Rosen and Kerry Sautner of the National Constitution Center, Christopher R. Riano, the President of the Center for Civic Education, Emma Humphries of iCivics and other civic education peers from around the country for "The Constitution and the Election," a nonpartisan discussion and listening session. Sign up today!

Learn more.


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Research Demonstrates Effectiveness of the We the People Curriculum and Professional Development

The recently released final evaluation report for the James Madison Legacy Project demonstrates that the Center's teacher professional development in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum is effective in increasing student attainment of state standards in civics and government as well as improving teachers' content knowledge and pedagogic skills. The independent evaluation conducted by Dr. Diana Owen and her team at the Civic Education Research Lab at Georgetown University demonstrated that the project, including the Center's new blended-learning professional development model, increased the number of highly effective teachers of high-need students throughout the country.

Full Report    Summary


Survey Response Coming Soon!

Thank you to everyone who completed our recent survey of the Center's wonderful network. We received over a thousand responses, which was truly inspiring. Center for Civic Education President Christopher R. Riano will be saying more about the results of the survey in a special message very shortly. We appreciate your responses and value your input!


Center Launches Special 60-Second Civics Series to Encourage Voting

The Center for Civic Education has launched a nationwide initiative to focus its signature daily program, 60-Second Civics, on the right to vote in the weeks leading up to the November 3 national elections. Each day, 60-Second Civics features a podcast focused on elections, voting, representation and how those rights are protected under the Constitution. The series even has a special YouTube playlist to keep your students engaged this election season.

Listen to 60-Second Civics


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Voting Lessons Available!

The Center for Civic Education offers a range of new and updated voting lessons for elementary, middle, and high school, including lessons for the 2020 presidential election. Instructions for conducting a simulated election are also available.

Learn more.


Alumni Leadership Council Formed

We the People alumnus and Pepperdine University professor Jooho Lee has organized a new We the People Alumni Leadership Council under the direction of Center for Civic Education President Christopher R. Riano. The council, composed of a diverse group of leaders from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors, will advise the Center in engaging We the People alumni in a number of different ways. We heard from a number of alumni that you would welcome the opportunity to get more involved, and we invite you to join this effort! If you would like to be involved in the Center's We the People Alumni Network, please complete this form.


Quick Quiz! Among other things, the Voting Rights Act of 1965

A. reduced the voting age to 18 and required ballots in languages other than English.
B. required the use of electronic voting machines wherever possible.
C. eliminated literacy tests, poll taxes, and discriminatory voter registration practices.
D. eliminated the requirement for voter registration in all states except North Dakota.

Read on to learn the answer!


Bipartisan Legislation Would Provide $1 Billion for Civics and History

A $1 billion bipartisan proposal currently working its way through Congress would provide funding for four types of competitive grants to advance history and civic education. The Center remains committed to finding ways to support federal investment in civic education and will be closely watching federal legislation like this, particularly in the new year.

Learn more on EdWeek


Applications Now Open for the 2021 Street Law Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers!

Street Law's 2021 Supreme Court Summer Institute provides teachers with a valuable opportunity to expand their knowledge and learn new methods for teaching about the Supreme Court of the United States. Teachers will spend six days with high-caliber instructors and expert resource people who are leaders in their respective fields. They will visit the Court to hear decisions, engage in a thorough study of six Supreme Court cases, and participate in sessions on the certiorari process, judicial nominations, interest groups, the media, constitutional interpretation, and a moot court. Applications and letters of support are due March 15, 2021.

Learn more.


Quiz Answer!

C. Among other things, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 eliminated literacy tests, poll taxes, and discriminatory voter registration practices (see episode 4141)

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


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