Fundamental Rationales

  • The American Enterprise Institute recently announced that civic literacy is just as critical to success as mathematics and literacy, according to the findings of a massive ten paper research effort on civics education published in November 2012 by the Harvard Press.
  • Interdisciplinary instruction maximizes critical thinking for students and builds instructional bridges between teachers. Civics and current events connections can increase learning in non-social studies classes.
  • Research by the Gates Foundation proves that millions of teenagers demand that school be made relevant to their lives or they will tune out.
  • Civics for All makes school relevant by leveraging connections between required course content and civics, politics, current events and media literacy.
  • Research by the National Learn and Serve Clearinghouse and others shows that not only teens but also elementary school students make enormous affective and cognitive growth when applied civics/service learning lessons are used.
  • A Gates Foundation funded study found that 83% of at-risk learners report increased interest in school when applied civics/service learning lessons are used. The linked Learn and Serve slide show is excellent.
  • There is a profound and damaging “civics deficit”  for minority, at risk, and low-income students in America, according to a 2008 Circle Report.
  • Social Studies Civics EARLs (Essential Academic Learning Requirements) are overly general and generally ignored.
  • One semester of senior government class is too little, too late.
  • Media literacy is essential to democratic citizenship.
  • Teaching civics across the K-12 common-core curriculum helps ensure equitable education and consistency for all, especially students who switch schools once or more, as do prior district wide initiatives like writing across the curriculum.
  • Civics for All anticipates and aligns with the federal government’s slow-footed acknowledgement that civics education is essential.

Alignment with National Assessments and Skill Set Emphases:

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.

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

Civics for All cultivates “21st Century Skills,” Including: Creative and Critical Thinking,  Communication Skills, Collaboration skills, Growth Mindset and Perseverance


“The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people.”

—  Supreme Court Justice, Louis D. Brandeis,
Whitney v. California, 1927