We are at a unique moment in history. Voter participation in the 2016 presidential election hit a 20-year low, and only 18 percent of Americans today say they trust the federal government—down from 59 percent since 1964. The prevalence of so-called fake news has also clouded Americans’ ability to evaluate fact versus opinion or even fiction.
Schools and educators have a special role to play in combating these problems by helping young people become engaged, knowledgeable, and responsible citizens. Civics education is a critical component of a quality K-12 education because it equips students with the skills to understand their system of government, rights and responsibilities, and mechanisms of participation.
While leading conservative and progressive thinkers and advocates tend to agree on the importance of civics education, they often diverge on the solutions. How can we best prepare young people to be full, active participants in our democracy? How can we teach students to interact critically with the news? What knowledge and skills do students need to live up to the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship?
Please join the Center for American Progress, Generation Citizen, former Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), and an expert panel to explore and debate a range of ideas for improving civics education and preparing students to become more engaged citizens.