Preparation for Civic Participation

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Center for Educational Equity

Flunking Democracy: Schools, Courts, and Civic Participation

Flunking Democracy is the first publication from CEE’s new educational-rights project on preparing students for civic participation. In it, Rebell makes the case that, for generations now, most public schools in the United States have moved away from one of the fundamental purposes of public education—preparing students to become capable citizens. This trend has persisted despite court holdings in New York, and many other states, that education for civic participation is the constitutional right of all children.

The book analyzes the causes of the decline in civic preparation, provides a detailed analysis of what we know about how to prepare students for productive citizenship, and considers examples of best practices. Flunking Democracy further argues that the courts are a vital part of the solution to this civic decline and concludes with specific recommendations for how the courts can and should address this deficiency.

Flunking Democracy is essential reading for anyone interested in education, the law, and creating a more democratic society.

The book will be published in mid-April. Order your copy today!

State Highest Courts that Have Affirmed the Primacy of Education for Civic Participation

32 states have affirmed the primacy of education for civic participation. The highest courts in the other 18
states have not denied this proposition; they have not yet spoken to the issue.

The Schools' Neglected Mission: Preparing All Students for Civic Preparation

This white paper summarizes the troubling trends that raise the question of whether our nation’s schools have been fulfilling their critical civic mission to prepare young people to be good citizens, capable of safeguarding our democracy and stewarding our nation toward a greater realization of its democratic values.