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February 04, 2003

index of youth civic engagement

We had a CIRCLE staff meeting this morning. The most interesting question we dealt with was this: To what extent is it useful to construct a broad index of civic engagement? CIRCLE was part of an elaborate process that developed 19 survey questions covering a wide range of civic and political behaviors. Is it useful to derive one number from these 19 questions, as an overall measure of overall civic engagement? If we promote such an index, some practitioners will use it to assess the condition of their own communities (compared to the national average) and to see what happens as a result of their programs. Is this beneficial or misleading?

Posted by peterlevine at February 4, 2003 04:52 PM