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Civic Education Initiative

Information on the latest in Civic Education initiatives and programs sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Civic Learning Award For California Public Schools
We invite you to apply for the 2015-16 Civic Learning Award for public schools which is co-sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. We recognize and value the important role of public schools in preparing students for participation in our democracy, and have a partnership to support civic education in California. The awards are designed to both celebrate successful efforts to engage students in civic learning and to identify successful models that can be replicated in other schools.

Power of Democracy External link opens in new window or tab.
Under the leadership of California State Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, the Power of Democracy Steering Committee works together to improve civic awareness, learning, and engagement in California. The committee includes representatives from all three levels of the California courts, the State Bar and local bar associations, as well as state and local education organizations (including a designee of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson).

Revitalizing K–12 Civic Learning in California: A Blueprint for Action (PDF; 2MB; Updated 05-Aug-2014)
The product of the California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning, this Blueprint was presented to Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on August 5, 2014, in Sacramento.

This Blueprint addresses four key areas for schools and students in grades K-12: Curriculum, Instructional Practices, and Resources; Professional Learning; Community and Business Partnerships; and Student Assessment and School Accountability. It outlines a plan of action for students, teachers, administrators, business and community leaders, courts, and local government and elected officials to take immediate action to improve civic learning in all California schools and communities.

History of the California Task Force of K-12 Civic Learning

California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning External link opens in new window or tab.
In 2013, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson joined together to establish the California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning. The task force sought to define the skills, knowledge, and dispositions that our students need to be informed and involved citizens and community members, as well as made recommendations for how we can achieve these outcomes for all students in California.

The task force's goal was to create a blueprint to address four key areas for California school communities and students in grades K-12: Curriculum, Instructional Practices, and Resources; Professional Learning; Community and Business Partnerships; and Student Assessment and School Accountability. The result was Revitalizing K-12 Civic Learning in California: A Blueprint for Action (PDF; 2MB).

California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning Roster
A list of the co-chairs, members, advisory members, and staff for the California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning.

Civic Learning Press Release
July 30, 2013: Work begins on Civics Education Initiative. A Joint Committee set up by the Chief Justice and State Superintendent of Public Instruction seeks changes to civics education.

Civic Learning California Summit: Making Democracy Work External link opens in new window or tab.
February 28, 2013: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, and a committee of civic leaders organized the Civic Learning California Summit: Making Democracy Work to examine successes and barriers to increasing civic literacy in California. The event featured special guest Sandra Day O'Connor and launched the Chief Justice's "Your Constitution: The Power of Democracy" campaign. A video archive External link opens in new window or tab. of the event is also available.

Questions:   Superintendent's Initiatives Office | 916-319-0800
Last Reviewed: Monday, November 2, 2015
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