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November 16, 2010

civic agency

Based on blog reports by Cecilia Orphan and Harry Boyte, it sounds as if the recent Civic Agency meeting in Washington was excellent. It was organized by the American Democracy Project of the American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU) along with the Center for Democracy and Citizenship. The AASCU has a valuable grassroots base in the form of its member campuses, which mostly serve first-generation college students. Other participants in the meeting included: "Rock the Vote, Sojourners, the White House Office of Social Innovation, community colleges, the American Library Association, National Issues Forums and Strengthening our Nation’s Democracy network."

Boyte summarizes three key themes:

1. "A focus on the empowerment gap needs to replace the achievement gap. ... [The] deepest problem in our education is that young people – especially children and teens of low income, minority, and immigrant backgrounds – feel “acted upon,” not agents of their education."

2. Public knowledge: people can create knowledge that is otherwise unavailable, by working together outside of specialized knowledge centers such as labs and academic departments.

3. "A new public narrative: We the People is not something in the future – it is emerging all over the place, as our colleagues, students, staff, and faculty rework relations with elected officials and other decision making bodies to be partners in public work, not mainly providers of services."

November 16, 2010 11:03 AM | category: none



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