“Civic education in the United States is not good enough.” —Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter, August 2009Our country’s future as a democracy depends on the integrity of our legal institutions, our commitment to justice and our understanding of constitutional self-government. Our children must learn those values.Unfortunately, less than one-quarter of our nation’s eighth-graders were rated as “proficient” or better in civics and government, according to a recent National Assessment of Educational Progress. In many schools today civics is an elective or not taught at all.For these reasons, I have made enhancing civic education throughout our country one of my highest priorities. As Justice Souter suggested at the ABA Annual Meeting last year, it is just too important to ignore. Earlier this fall, I met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to urge that civic education be seen as a national priority, and inform him of our plans to mobilize lawyers and judges across our nation to educate young people on the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship. He was receptive to our message and has assigned a liaison to the ABA. I believe this is an important first step in what will be our long-term effort… Read full this story
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