State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell joins state Sen. Jason Lewis during an online discussion this afternoon with students, teachers and administrators to highlight the impact of the state’s civics education law passed in 2018.
The talk, which takes place from 4:15-5, is part of the Massachusetts Civic Learning Coalition’s Massachusetts Civic Learning Week 2022. This year centers on the theme of “Building Communities through Civics” and feature more than 30 virtual workshops, panels and events.
“The excitement and commitment to civics education continues to explode here in the Commonwealth and is a powerful antidote to the deep divisions that permeate current political discourse,” said Campbell. “Local school districts continue to dedicate more time and resources to preparing students to be informed participants in our democracy, and the legislature and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education continue to fund and vigorously promote civics education in our schools through multiple grade levels. In addition to understanding the fundamentals of our government, the law requires that students acquire tools to fact-check information and takes a hands-on approach with project requirements that truly excite students. Future generations have many serious and immediate challenges coming their way that will require their collective action. Giving them tools to do so could not be more timely or important!”
Campbell was a lead sponsor of the 2018 law along with Sen. Harriette Chandler and Rep. Andy Vargas. The law was lauded as the first of its kind in the nation and established Massachusetts as a nationwide leader and model for civics education.
Vargas said, “Civics education empowers young people with the knowledge and skills they need to fully engage with the issues that impact them. In an increasingly polarized time where our democracy is being tested, Civics education is more important than ever. I am proud that Massachusetts continues to lead the country on this issue.”
The 2018 civics education law included comprehensive reforms to ensure students learn about the foundations of our democracy and gain hands-on experience with civic engagement. The law requires public schools to offer non-partisan, hands-on civics projects for students in grades 8-12; adds media literacy to the required curriculum; aims to increase voter registration and pre-registration among students; and establishes an annual Civics Challenge for eighth grade students to showcase their civics projects competitively.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will also participate in Civic Learning Week by hosting live virtual Q&A sessions for students and teachers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. Q&As with Sotomayor take place Wednesday, March 9, beginning at 1 p.m. for secondary school students and teachers and at 1:35 for elementary school students and teachers.