Civics Education Resource Site

Why Civics? News for Students & Parents

“Knowledge of our system of governance and our rights and responsibilities as citizens is not passed along through the gene pool. Each generation of Americans must be taught these basics.”

– Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

The Future of Our Democracy

The civic mission of schools is not a new concept. Our nation’s public schools were founded to develop citizens with knowledge, and the rights and responsibilities of self-government. Yet formal civic education has almost vanished from the curriculum in most schools.

We must provide our youngest generation with the understanding of our constitutional system, and an appreciation for the achievements of, and opportunities provided by, self-government. Failure to do so will imperil the future of our democracy.

 

Top 10 Benefits of Quality Civic Education

  • Strengthens the basic understanding of our structures of government, along with related processes of legislation and policy making.
  • Enhances “21st century competencies” that are valued by colleges, universities and employers.
  • Closes the civic achievement gap across race, ethnicity, income and parental educational attainment.
  • Lowers high school dropout rates.
  • Creates a positive school climate that supports students feeling socially, emotionally and physically safe.
  • Builds news literacy skills necessary for gathering information to make reasoned decisions on critical issues affecting our country.
  • Increases volunteerism and work on community issues.
  • Enhances democratic accountability of elected officials.
  • Improves government transparency.
  • Increases voting and discussions of politics in the home.

For more information

See Fast Facts on Civic Education

See Civic Mission of Schools

See Civic Empowerment Gap

See Illinois Democracy Schools