“Democracy needs to be re-born in each generation and education is its mid-wife.”
- John Dewey, Education Reformer
The American system of public education was created with two vitally important purposes, to prepare our youth for success in a career and equally importantly, to provide the knowledge and skills to be an informed, engaged citizen. Civic learning in schools is the most effective way to prepare America's young people for informed and active participation in a healthy democracy
The Campaign for the Civic Mission Schools was created to expand and improve civic learning in our schools, K-12 and in Higher Education. The Campaign works with its 60+ coalition partners, the Campaign's Steering Committee, to bring about changes in state, local, and national policy that promote civic learning and implement the recommendations in “Guardian of Democracy: the Civic Mission of Schools” report published by the Campaign in 2011, an update and expanded version of the Civic Mission of Schools report, published in 2003 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on civic Learning and Engagement ). These reports reflects a broad consensus among scholars and practitioners on the major challenges confronting civic learning, research based practices that are proven to effectively provide civic learning and recommendations for policymakers, educators and all Americans.
The Campaign was founded in 2004 to serve as the civic learning community’s public and policymaker advocacy arm. It operates on two advocacy tracks: national and state.
On its national advocacy track, the Campaign
- Brings national attention to the importance of improving civic learning in our schools
- Encourages the federal government to create stronger policies and increase funding to the states for civic learning
- Advocates for more effective school reform based on active student engagement in their schools and communities
- Works to improve the National Assessment of Educational Progress civic assessments by testing a larger sample of students
- Heightens awareness of the need to close the civic learning opportunity and achievement gap
On its state advocacy track, the Campaign
- Develops communications tools to support state advocacy
- Makes a comprehensive set of civic learning resource and practices available online
- Works with a network of state-level civic learning advocates, providing technical assistance to strengthen their states' civic learning policies
- Persuades state legislators, education officials, teachers, business and community leaders, parents and students that civic learning is vital to the health of our democracy
The Campaign has produced a number of reports and studies that show how effective civic learning can be provided in any school and that provide evidence that civic learning helps students develop the skills needed to be successful in other subjects and in the 21st Century workplace.