Curriculum

Retired Justice Stumps for Civics

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — April 25, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print
Sandra Day O'Connor

After nearly three decades on the nation’s highest court, retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is now lending her time and expertise to a national campaign to strengthen civics education in public schools.

Justice O’Connor, the first woman to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, is a co-chair of the new National Advisory Council for the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, unveiled here last week. She is joined by co-chair Roy Romer, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District and a former governor of Colorado.

Civics education promoters have expressed concern that the expansion of reading and mathematics instruction in many schools is taking time away from history, civics, and government classes.

“This knowledge about how we function in a democracy is not handed down through the gene pool. We have to teach it,” Justice O’Connor said at a press conference. Current debates over immigration laws and the war in Iraq have allowed students to see democratic principles in action, she added.

Roy Romer

“We have so many issues facing us today that provide opportunities to engage students” in lessons about the democratic process, she said.

Mr. Romer acknowledged that the pressure of recent state and federal policies to boost student achievement in reading and math has threatened to “crowd out” civics lessons and other subjects. But he said that he and other Los Angeles administrators have been trying to find ways to incorporate civics content into the language arts curriculum.

The Washington-based Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, a coalition of advocacy groups, has awarded grants to 18 states to promote policies aimed at improving civic learning in schools.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
From Chaos to Clarity: How to Master EdTech Management and Future-Proof Your Evaluation Processes
The road to a thriving educational technology environment is paved with planning, collaboration, and effective evaluation.
Content provided by Instructure
Special Education Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table - Special Education: Proven Interventions for Academic Success
Special education should be a launchpad, not a label. Join the conversation on how schools can better support ALL students.
Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum Outdoor Learning: The Ultimate Student Engagement Hack?
Outdoor learning offers a host of evidence-based benefits for students. One Virginia school serves as an example how.
7 min read
Students from Centreville Elementary School in Fairfax, Va., release brook trout they’ve grown from eggs in their classroom into Passage Creek at Elizabeth Furnace Recreational Area in the George Washington National Forest in Fort Valley, Va. on April 23.
Students from Centreville Elementary School in Fairfax, Va., release brook trout that they’ve grown from eggs in their classroom at a creek in Fort Valley, Va., on April 23.
Sam Mallon/Education Week
Curriculum Opinion Classical Education Is Taking Off. What’s the Appeal?
Classical schooling is an apprenticeship to the great minds and creators of the past, enabling students to develop their own thinking.
9 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Curriculum Download For Earth Day, Try These Green Classroom Activities (Downloadable)
16 simple ideas for teachers and their students.
Earth Day Downloadable 042024
iStock/Getty
Curriculum Photos PHOTOS: Inside an AP African American Studies Class
The AP African American studies course has sparked national debate since the pilot kicked off in 2022. Here's a look inside the classroom.
1 min read
Students listen to a lesson on Black fraternities and sororities during Ahenewa El-Amin’s AP African American Studies class at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Ky., on March 19, 2024.
Students listen to a lesson on Black fraternities and sororities during Ahenewa El-Amin’s AP African American Studies class at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Ky., on March 19, 2024.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week