Common Core

Civics for All is “Civics in the Core” 

Civics for All is “Civics in the Core” because civics studies align so smoothly with the coming Common Core State Standards’ emphasis on distilling argumentative claims from non-fiction texts.

Four standards  ready for civics applications:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1(5): Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.3(6): Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.8(7): Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1(8): Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence

Civics for All aligns directly with and will facilitate student success on the “New SAT,”  which emphasizes America’s founding documents and current events analysis for the first time in the history of the test.

Civics for All, the C3 Framework, and the Common Core 

The Civics for All Initiative’s Instructional Planks Align Almost Seamlessly with the Most Current and Well-Regarded Civics Education Guidelines for Integrating the Common Core with Civics:

C3 Framework from the National Council of Social Studies, 2013

Dimension 1: Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries Dimension 2: Applying Disciplinary Tools and Concepts Dimension 3: Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence Dimension 4: Communicating Conclusions and Taking Informed Action
Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries Civics Gathering and Evaluating Sources Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions
Geography Developing Claims and Using Evidence Taking Informed Action

Note: Kathy Swan, the lead author of the NCSS’s C3 Framework, has endorsed the Civics for All Initiative and is a listed CFA Supporter

Civics for All and Common Core Instruction at the elementary school level:

CFA promotes use of non-fiction civics texts which social studies starved elementary school teachers crave. This is an area of enormous opportunity: using more civics texts in alignment with the Common Core Standards at the elementary level could really boost student engagement and, consequently, achievement. 

 The Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools – CCMS

The Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools,  championed by Associate Supreme Court Justice (ret.) Sandra Day O’Connor, recommends six “proven practices” that, together, constitute well-rounded civic learning.

These six best practices are embedded in Civics for All’s planks and philosophy and all support the fundamental reading, writing, and critical thinking  skills of the Common Core standards. All  are research-proven to provide the most effective and comprehensive approach to ensuring all students receive the civic knowledge and skills necessary for informed and engaged citizenship.

The Essential Six Proven Practices of Effective Civics Instruction and Learning— CCMS:

 1. Classroom Instruction: Schools should provide instruction in civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy.

2. Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues: Schools should incorporate discussion of current local, national, and international issues and events, esp. those that students find important..

3. Service-Learning: Schools should design and implement programs that provide students with the opportunities to link service learning to the formal curriculum and classroom instruction.

4. Extracurricular Activities: Schools should offer opportunities for young people to get involved in their schools or communities outside of the classroom.

5. School Governance: Schools should encourage meaningful student participation in school governance.

6. Simulations of Democratic Processes: Schools should encourage students to participate in simulations of democratic processes and procedures.