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Superintendent Pushes to Strengthen Civic Education in Public Schools

SCOE Takes Part in Civic Education Mission

Students saying the Pledge of Allegiance

Students from Fairview Elementary School in Modesto lead summit attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) is part of an effort to promote civic education in public schools throughout Sacramento County and all of California.

David W. Gordon, SCOE Superintendent, is co-chair of The California Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. The goal of this effort is to strengthen civic education in California's public schools.

Superintendent Gordon co-hosted an all-day summit at the State Capitol entitled "Educating for Democracy." The summit featured expert speakers from the education field as well as demonstrations by students and teachers on some of the best current practices being used in schools throughout the State to teach civics.

"It is vitally important that we as educators do everything possible to enhance the civic knowledge of our young people." Superintendent Gordon said. "The future of democracy in California depends on informed and engaged citizens."

At the summit, Charles Quigley, Executive Director of the Center for Civic Education, called on California's public schools to raise the level of civic education to that of core subjects such as math and history.

"We need to develop enlightened participation and we can only do that through civic education," Quigley said.

One Sacramento County high school was recognized for its achievements. Sheldon High School, in the Elk Grove Unified School District was recognized as a California Civic Mission Pilot School. Sheldon High Principal Paula Duncan received a special award from Jack O'Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The campaign is a project of the Constitutional Rights Foundation in partnership with the Center for Civic Education and the Alliance for Representative Democracy. Convened by CRF and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Annenberg Foundation and the W.R. Hearst Foundation, this project is promoted by an extensive alliance comprised of educators, business leaders, legislators, lawyers and judges.

"It is the goal of this project and the Summit to draw attention to this need and make sure that every student in our state receives a quality civic education so that they understand their constitutional heritage and the rights and responsibilities of effective citizenship," said Todd Clark, Executive Director of the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF).

David W. Gordon leads summit discussion

SCOE Superintendent David W. Gordon leads a summit discussion on civic education.

Dave Gordon, Paula Duncan, and Jack O'Connell

SCOE Superintendent David W. Gordon (left) with Sheldon High Principal Paula Duncan and Jack O'Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.