July 30, 2013
Work Begins on Civics Education Initiative
Joint Committee, Set Up by Chief Justice and State Superintendent
of Public Instruction, Seeks Changes to Civics Curriculum
SACRAMENTO—The chairs of a joint task force established by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson have announced a schedule of public hearings and a timeline to produce recommendations on revamping civics curriculum in California schools.
"Our Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning [http://www.myboe.org/portal/default/Group/Viewer/GroupView?action=2&ql=CivicLearningTaskforce] has a year to perform its work," said co-chair Justice Judith McConnell, Administrative Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District. "The Chief and the Superintendent have charged our committee with finding a way to elevate the importance of civic learning in California, and we plan to engage the public in this endeavor." The task force met for the first time on July 2 to set out a timeline for activities. The first public hearing will occur September 25 in San Francisco.
"We have an aggressive timeline and a lot of ground to cover," said co-chair Superintendent David Gordon of the Sacramento County Office of Education. "We'll look at a lot of elements of K-12 curriculum, such as instructional practices, professional development for teachers, and partnerships with the community and businesses. Our goal is to help our students become more informed and engaged citizens. We can't do this without the ideas and energy of school people—adults and youth—and leaders from the community."
The broadly representative task force [http://www.myboe.org/cognoti/co.nn?id=506461&uid=&go=/cognoti/content/file/resources/documents/ab/ab3d2bb7/ab3d2bb7a8d2c5ad071da3676545c971c2d8fcbb/
CLTaskForceRosterHyperLinks71013.docx] includes members of advocacy groups for parents, teachers, school administrators, school boards, labor, and business. The task force will conduct up to six regional meetings throughout the state and provide an opportunity to comment electronically. The task force's report is due in summer 2014.
For more information, please contact Debbie Genzer, Judicial Branch of California at Deborah.Genzer@jud.ca.gov, 415-865-8755; or Stacey Greer, California Department of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-323-5818.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100