Thinking of civics as a code kids need to know to be successful adults.
Thomas Friedman wrote an op-ed suggesting students need to know civics as much as they need to know computers
. Every National Academy alumni except one shared the story (not actual numbers). While other states have taken up legislation requiring students to pass a citizenship test, Florida Governor Ron De Santis made quick work of his campaign promise to improve civic education with project-based learning
. State lawmakers there recently proposed policies awarding students a seal on their diplomas for completing civic engagement course work and established a framework for democracy schools.
There has been plenty of harrumphing over the lack of civic knowledge and apparent decline in support for democratic institutions in public polling. Who makes the strongest case for what our civic education should look like today? Please share your ideas in the Studio
Thinking on racial questions would move forward with empathy.
It turns out that the Jussie Smollet case fits a historical narrative
and it's one that requires us to work through this story with care. That doesn't require forgiving Smollet or minimizing what he did. The suggestion here is that we all take a moment to understand just how deep stories like this cut and how they can work to set us back. These recurring stories repeat themselves for a reason and the stories about blackface in Virginia prove the point. Turning to the work of James Baldwin
and a psychology professor that provided crucial evidence for Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, Susan Lanzoni says we continue to struggle because of our continued failure to treat these questions with empathy
Reflecting on Governor Northam's current status, Lanzoni writes:
"Failing to cultivate empathy will not just harm Northam’s relationship to his black constituents. Without empathy — the combined emotional and rational understanding of the impact of racism in the lives of African Americans — he is likely to neglect policies that could alleviate systemic discrimination. Indeed, the lack of empathy on the part of white Americans has long impeded the fight for racial equality."
"All these presidents had complaints about their coverage and at times took advantage of the freedom every American has to criticize journalists. But in demonizing the free press as the enemy, simply for performing its role of asking difficult questions and bringing uncomfortable information to light, President Trump is retreating from a distinctly American principle. It’s a principle that previous occupants of the Oval Office fiercely defended regardless of their politics, party affiliation, or complaints about how they were covered.
The phrase “enemy of the people” is not just false, it’s dangerous. It has an ugly history of being wielded by dictators and tyrants who sought to control public information."