Education news items

The Pursuit of Civic Classroom Happiness

SEPTEMBER 11, 2014

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Thomas Jefferson

Fighting For Our Future Citizens

SEPTEMBER 04, 2014

"If men expect to be ignorant and free, they expect what never was and never will be."  Thomas Jefferson.  These immortal words by the inspired writer of the Declaration of Independence set the tone for civic involvement in the newly created United States of America.  And for many years, commitment to public service was practiced with zeal and sacrifice for the betterment of a society that had disconnected itself from the Old World to begin a new adventure in citizen participation.

iCivics Teacher Council: More Than Expected

AUGUST 21, 2014

Before leaving for iCivics training mid July, I assumed that the highlight of the trip would be meeting Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female Supreme Court Justice. Upon returning from iCivics training, I’ve realized the true highlight was being able to meet and collaborate with twenty-two other motivated, creative, intelligent teachers who are the iCivics Teachers Council.

Happy New School Year! An 8th Grade Teacher's Take on Customizing iCivics for Your Class

JULY 31, 2014

As part of my curriculum in teaching 8th grade social studies, I am required to teach a quarter of government. I would often find myself struggling to make that quarter interesting and relatable to my students. The iCivics website changed everything in my classroom.  I felt comfortable using iCivics because iCivics lessons are aligned with state and Common Core standards.  You may think that yes, the iCivics website is just another tool for your tool belt, but the website is more than just a tool- it's an engaging experience.

Advocacy for Civic Education: A Statistical Cry For Help

JULY 24, 2014

We’ve all seen the statistics…The Nation’s Report Card (NAEP) has consistently revealed that students, K-12, are not proficient in civics and government.  As of 2006, only 27% of 12th graders were proficient in civics and government.  The statistics for adults don’t get any better.  A study conducted by the American Bar Association (2005) revealed that less than half of American adults could identify the three branches of government and only 57% could identify even one Supr

Meet Tyler Ellis, Baylor Teaching Fellow

JULY 17, 2014

During the month of June, iCivics welcomed Baylor Teaching Fellow, Tyler Ellis an Ed D candidate at Baylor University and 6th grade reading teacher at Rapoport Academy (Waco, TX).  Tyler spent his time with the curriculum team working on DB Quest, Drafting Board 2.0 and other parts of the iCivics curriculum.  As an educator, Tyler is part of a long tradition of teachers.  He doesn’t take this responsibility lightly and finds teaching to be challenging, enjoyable and a natural fit for his personality.

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed "Founding Principles in the Digital Age"

APRIL 22, 2014

Today the Wall Street Journal released an op-ed from Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Executive Director Jeff Curley highlighting the tension between "old and new".  "Learning can happen anytime, anywhere..." (Justice O'Connor, WSJ 4/22/14) and technology provides avenues to solidify each student's understanding of foundational documents.  

Our Annual Report

FEBRUARY 19, 2014

2013 was a banner year for iCivics. As we close out our fiscal year, this Annual Report provides an opportunity to reflect on where we have been, where we are today, and the work ahead.  

Introducing our new site

NOVEMBER 19, 2013

When we launched iCivics.org in May 2010, no one imagined that three years later we would be serving 40,000 teachers and six million students. But here we are, and thanks to you, iCivics is now the most widely adopted civics curriculum in the country! 

Civic Literacy and Changing the Meaning of Pi

AUGUST 26, 2013

Civic Literacy and Changing the Meaning of Pi

In late 19th century Indiana, the legislature tried to pass a bill that would change the meaning of Pi to 3.2.

For the sake of our social science audience I won’t get into the math, but basically, a gentleman who “proved” the theory, and copyrighted it, generously offered to allow Indiana to use his method for free if they adopted his mathematical gift as law.