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Monday roundup

Here’s a roundup of some recent news bits, events, and articles that we found interesting. We hope it gets your week started off right:

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Common core, social studies, and charter schools

On Monday, March 25, the AEI Education team is hosting an all-day conference to discuss the Common Core State Standards and how they complement (or conflict) with school reform agendas that states are already pursuing. There are many great panel discussions throughout the day, but of particular interest is the third panel, on charter schooling and social studies standards. The Program on American Citizenship has released a number of case studies that examine how different charter schools approach teaching social studies and civic education—and we’ll be publishing a couple more studies in the coming weeks. Indeed, one of our authors, Robin Lake (who coauthored, with Cheryl Miller, Strengthening the Civic Mission of Charter Schoolswill be a discussant on Monday’s panel. She will be joined by Jeanne Allen (Center for Education Reform), Russell Armstrong (Office of the Louisiana Governor), and Peter Meyer (Thomas B. Fordham Institute).

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Civics education: Why it matters to democracy, society, and you

On April 1, Harvard Law School and the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools is hosting an all-day conference on civics education. Among the names that will be presenting include Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice David Souter (both retired from the Supreme Court), Peter Levine (CIRCLE), Gene Koo (iCivics),  Martha Kanter (US Department of Education), Ted McConnell (Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools), and Scott Warren (Generation Citizen)—and many others.

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Register now for Citizen University

Citizen University, a conference exploring the art of great citizenship hosted by Eric Liu’s Guiding Lights Network, will take place on Saturday, March 23, in Seattle. There is still time to register to attend—and if you sign up before March 1 you can save $40 on your registration fee. There are also discounted registration options available for students, military servicemen, and seniors.

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Event watch: Civil society and the future of conservatism

Next Tuesday, November 27, the Hudson Institute is hosting a timely and much needed conversation about the role of the citizen and civic space in modern American politics. Here is the event description:

National Affairs magazine editor Yuval Levin, writing in the October 8, 2012 issue of The Weekly Standard, noted that this year’s presidential election seemed to have deteriorated into a contest between a “simple-minded and selfish radical individualism,” on the one hand, and “a simple-minded and dangerous radical collectivism” on the other.

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AEI event watch

Here are some upcoming AEI events in the Washington, D.C. area that might be of interest to our citizenship readers. Hope to see you there!

  •  “The Story of ain’t: America and its language.”
  • “Have we become a nation of takers?” Debate between Nicholas Eberstadt, AEI, and William A. Galston, the Brookings Institution.
  • “What will the 2012 election mean for education?”
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    Constitution Day event re-cap


    Happy Constitution Day! In honor of the 225th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, on Thursday, the Program on American Citizenship hosted the first annual Walter Berns Constitution Day lecture: “Spending, public debt, and constitutional design: Remarks by Michael W. McConnell.”

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    Upcoming event: Spending, public debt and constitutional design

    In honor of the 225th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, the Program on American Citizenship will celebrate Constitution Day with a lecture by Michael W. McConnell, Richard & Frances Mallery Professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School. This event is the first in a lecture series named for distinguished scholar Walter Berns.

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    Event re-cap: A nation of takers

    At a Program on American Citizenship event at AEI on Wednesday, AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt demonstrated how government entitlement spending has dramatically increased over the past 50 years –with nearly half of U.S. households receiving some sort of government benefit–and explored the implications of this trend for a self-governing citizenry.

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    Event tomorrow: Nation of Takers

    America’s national debt now exceeds $15 trillion, which is roughly equal to the value of all goods and services the U.S. economy produces in one year. If left unchecked, America’s debt will have catastrophic consequences for the future of the nation. How did we arrive at this point?

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    A nation of takers and the politics of loss

    In a piece that is timely for our upcoming Nation of Takers event on Wednesday at AEI (register here), panelist Jay Cost (Weekly Standard) writes in National Affairs about “the politics of loss.”

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    Citizenship abroad: a quest for democratic citizenship in Russia

    We have noted before Leon Aron’s look into Russian civic society based on his trip to the country last July. On the trip, Aron interviewed leaders of different grassroots organizations and democratic movements in an effort to better understand civic culture and citizenship in Russia.

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    Upcoming event: A nation of takers

    America’s national debt now exceeds $15 trillion, which is roughly equal to the value of all goods and services the U.S. economy produces in one year. If left unchecked, America’s debt will have catastrophic consequences for the future of the nation. How did we arrive at this point?

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    Revising Eisenhower–and his Memorial

    The Washington Examiner reports that revisions to the proposed Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial will be revealed on Tuesday.

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    Closing the Civic Empowerment Gap

    Writing for the Harvard University Press blog, Jessica Gerhardstein Gingold, a former youth council director with Chicago’s Mikva Challenge and an incoming Harvard Graduate School of Education student, uses Meira Levinson’s new book, No Citizen Left Behind, to recount her experiences with action civics.

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    No Citizen Left Behind

    The United States suffers from a civic empowerment gap that is as shameful and anti-democratic as the academic achievement gap targeted by No Child Left Behind. In her new book, No Citizen Left Behind, Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Meira Levinson argues that recovering the civic purposes of public schools will take more than tweaking their curricula. Drawing on political theory, empirical research and her own experience from teaching at an all-black middle school in Atlanta, Levinson calls on schools to remake civic education.

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    The Decline of American Monuments

    As we look forward to our May 18 discussion panel on “Monumental Fights: The Role of Memorials in Civic Life” (register at the link) with the National Civic Art Society, we will be showcasing essays on the subject to help us prepare for the discussion. Today’s selection is by panelist and Williams College professor of art Michael J. Lewis, who writes on “The Decline of American Monuments and Memorials” in this month’s Imprimis.

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    Upcoming event: Monumental Fights

    Over the past year, the recently dedicated Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Memorial and the planned Eisenhower Memorial have renewed controversy about the meaning and purpose of public memorials. What do America’s memorials and monuments tell us about our nation and our identity as citizens? How should we memorialize past events and individuals? In this event, co-sponsored by the Program on American Citizenship and the National Civic Art Society, a distinguished panel will address these questions and comment on the MLK and Eisenhower memorials.

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    Whither American Education?

    For those in the D.C. area, don’t miss this Friday’s school reform conference at American University, “Whither American Education?” Hosted by the University’s Political Theory Institute, the all-day conference will discuss “contemporary school reforms, our deepest educational values, and the direction of American education” and will feature experts on school reform from around the country.

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    Mid-week roundup

    What’s happening in the citizenship world? Here’s a mid-week roundup of recent tidbits we found interesting:

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