Late in April I will have the privilege of attending a meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss how federal policies do and/or should impact civic skill acquisition in young Americans. Civic skills are the necessary abilities to participating in one’s democracy – along with willingness, a must-have component to citizen participation.
On his first day in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Transparency, Participation, and Collaboration. He noted, “Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. … Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government.” He ordered the executive branch to “use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector.”
The meeting will occur thanks to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, and Strengthening Our Nation’s Democracy (SOND). Stay tuned for my report on the meeting.