I’ll be in D.C., well, actually Arlington, VA., Monday and Tuesday for the annual legislative conference with my fellow state, regional, provincial (Canada) and national press association colleagues from around the U.S. and Canada. It’s always an enlightening day and a half of hearing about and discussing what state legislatures are doing in numerous areas that affect newspapers, the media overall, public notice advertising and open government. Gives us all an insight as to what those legislatures are doing in other states and what may be cropping up when the 2019 sessions begin.
One discussion item might not fit that mold but it is one that should generate a good discussion and that is on civics education. Beth Bennett, executive director of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, is going to talk briefly about her state’s “Civic Games” and background for the discussion stems from an article in the New York Times. The article points out that students in some states get no education in civics and what it means to be a citizen, having to figure out for themselves what it means to vote and how to vote, what taxes are used for and the parties that make up the political process.
The story is eye-opening about the civics process, or lack thereof, in several states. Here it is in case you’ve not read it:
From The New York Times:
Are Civics Lessons a Constitutional Right? These Students Are Suing for Them
Many see the lack of civics in schools as a national crisis. A federal lawsuit says it also violates the law.