As part of its efforts to recognize the importance of civic learning and to promote equitable access to K-12 pathways to civic engagement, the California State Board of Education adopted the State Seal of Civic Engagement in the fall of 2020.
The state seal has come at an important time. In an era of increased political discord and social unrest, a recent study by the Civic Engagement Resource Group (CERG) at UC Riverside found that school district support for civic education is uneven, with limited resources being allocated for the subject. This is especially true for schools in underrepresented and historically marginalized communities.
Right now, there’s an opportunity for many more students to get access to opportunities that help them make responsible decisions, collaborate, and have an impact on important issues. This comes at a time when students today are increasingly more involved in important civic issues. One example is in the State Seal of Civic Engagement, where the student-led organization GENup was instrumental and a crucial voice in calling for its creation.
Through their words and actions, students are telling educators that they want to become more involved in civic life. The responsibility is on schools and districts to help students develop the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to make a positive impact in their communities and in the world around them.
Civic Learning Resources