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April 24, 2009

the civic opportunity gap

Our main message at CIRCLE is that young people benefit from opportunities to do civic work, but those opportunities (such as discussions of controversial issues, service-learning projects, student governments, youth organizing, youth media, community-based research) are very poorly distributed, so that those youth who need them least--our successful students--are most likely to get them, whereas those who struggle in school (or who attend struggling schools) are very unlikely to receive them.

I've got a piece entitled "The Civic Opportunity Gap" in the current issue of Educational Leadership, a magazine aimed mainly at administrators in k-12 schools. Northwest Education published an interview with me under the heading, "Civic Engagement for All." Finally, several of my closest collaborators and I addressed civic equity in a panel at the American Education Research Association conference last week, and Education Week (the main trade journal) chose to cover our discussion. The Ed Week article begins, "The good news, according to researchers presenting findings here last week, is that after waning for years, civic participation among young people appears to be on the rise. The bad news is that students who are members of racial or ethnic minorities, who live in poor neighborhoods, or who are tracked into low-achieving classes get fewer opportunities to exercise their civic muscles than their better-off peers."

April 24, 2009 9:07 AM | category: none


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