Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon will co-chair a statewide task force charged with producing recommendations for revamping civics curriculum in California schools. The announcement was made July 30 by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
"Our Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning 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. The committee will conduct up to six regional meetings throughout the state, provide an opportunity to comment electronically, and produce a Civic Learning Blueprint by July 2014.
"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 (SCOE). "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 adults and youth at our schools, and leaders from the community."
The broadly representative task force includes members of advocacy groups for parents, teachers, school administrators, school boards, labor, and business.