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Truant From School: History, Science, and Art

We’ve noted before that many teachers think that the emphasis on testing in language arts and math is crowding out learning in other subject areas such as civics and social studies. For our friends in the D.C . area, later this week Common Core will be hosting a panel discussion on the topic.


Celebrating Washington’s birthday

George Washington was born on this day, February 22, in 1732. Today, take some time to read from his Farewell Address, which he delivered on September 19, 1796, before retiring to Mt. Vernon after completing his second term as President of the United States.


Event re-cap: First Among Equals

At an event on Friday sponsored by the AEI Program on American Citizenship in celebration of George Washington’s birthday, leading American political thinkers came together to discuss Washington’s  presidency and the importance to the nation of having a time set apart to remember and appreciate its founders.


Reminder: Come celebrate George Washington’s birthday with us

Calling all our friends in the Washington, D.C. area: this Friday, we will be celebrating George Washington’s birthday with a panel discussion at AEI. The event, which is open to the public, is titled “First Among Equals: George Washington and the American Presidency,” and will feature an introduction by Amy A. Kass (Hudson Institute), a reading from George Washington’s Farewell Address by Leon R. Kass (AEI), and remarks by Diana Schaub (Loyola University Maryland), Richard Brookhiser (National Review), Harvey Mansfield (Harvard University), and Steven F. Hayward (AEI).


Upcoming Event: First Among Equals

The third Monday in February has come to be known–wrongly–as Presidents’ Day, an annual excuse for a three-day weekend and big-ticket sales. In one of a series of events and conversations about the meaning of the American calendar, Amy A. Kass (Hudson Institute) and Leon R. Kass (AEI) seek to restore America’s fading national memory with a celebration of the holiday by its original and proper name: Washington’s Birthday.


Upcoming Event: The Muslim-American Muddle: Where Do Muslims Fit in American Society?

Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Time: 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: Wohlstetter Conference Center, Twelfth Floor, AEI
1150 17th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

“A decade after 9/11, America has reached a political and intellectual stalemate regarding the Muslims in its midst,” writes Peter Skerry in his timely essay in National Affairs, “The Muslim-American Muddle.” According to Skerry, complacent elites and alarmist populists alike misunderstand the real challenges Islam poses to America, while Muslims themselves are conflicted about their role in American society. At an event sponsored by AEI’s Program on American Citizenship, a panel of leading experts on Islam in America will discuss Skerry’s essay and the critical issues to consider as Muslims in the US assume their responsibilities as American citizens.

1:15 PM: Registration
1:30 PM: Presenter: Peter Skerry, Boston College

Hillel Fradkin, Hudson Institute
Souheil Ghannouchi, Author
Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review Institute
Justin  Vaïsse, Brookings Institution

Moderator: Gary J. Schmitt, AEI

Register at AEI.


Recommended Event: Teaching America

Next Monday, January 9, at 9:30 a.m., the Brookings Institution will host a discussion of Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education. As you may remember, we hosted our own discussion of the book in September (re-cap and video highlights here).

At next week’s Brookings’ event, David Feith (editor) will provide opening remarks, John Bridgeland (President and CEO of Civic Enterprises) will deliver the keynote address, and Teaching America contributors Seth Andrew (Democracy Prep), Peter Levine (CIRCLE), and Adm. Michael Ratliff (Jack Miller Center) will discuss their plans to strengthen civic education. Brookings Senior Fellow William Galston will moderate.

For more information about the event–and to register–head over to the event page. We hope to see you there!


In case you missed it: Civics 2.0

Did you miss our Civics 2.0 conference? If so, read all about it at Education Week, read all ten papers on our site, or watch it live above.


Register now: Civics 2.0, Citizenship Education for a New Generation

Citizenship education is lacking in public and private schools: 75 percent of high school seniors cannot name a power granted to Congress by the Constitution, fewer than half of eighth graders know the purpose of the Bill of Rights, and less than a quarter of young Americans regularly vote, according to a recent survey released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. In addition, civic dialogue is becoming ever more polarized, while public service is openly disdained by many. Previous school reforms have focused on graduation rates and reading and math scores, neglecting education about citizenship and resulting in a lack of basic knowledge about issues at the core of what has made America great.

School reformers are themselves deeply engaged in powerful civic and political action: transforming American educational policy and practice. This presents an opportunity to ensure that America’s schools also focus—as they once did—on forging engaged, empowered citizens. Sponsored by AEI’s Program on American Citizenship, Frederick M. Hess, AEI’s director of education policy studies; Meira Levinson, associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; and David E. Campbell, associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, have commissioned leading researchers and scholars to explore the issues of citizenship and schooling by looking at domestic and international data, teacher training, and schools and classrooms. The research presented at this AEI event will illuminate how America’s schools can renew their focus on forging engaged and empowered citizens.


Upcoming Event: Walter Berns and the Constitution–A Celebration of the Constitution, with Opening Remarks by Justice Antonin Scalia

Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Time: 12:30 PM — 2:00 PM
Location: Wohlstetter Conference Center, Twelfth Floor, AEI
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20036

For more than fifty years, Walter Berns has analyzed the American constitutional order with insight and profundity. It is only fitting that as we mark this year’s Constitution Day—September 17, the day thirty-nine members of the Constitutional Convention signed the draft constitution—we examine his work on the meaning of the Constitution and the American regime it supports. At this event, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will give opening remarks in celebration of the Constitution, and Leon R. Kass (Madden-Jewett Chair, AEI), Jeremy A. Rabkin (Professor, George Mason University School of Law), and Christopher Demuth (D.C. Searle Senior Fellow, AEI) will discuss Walter Berns’s lasting contribution to constitutional studies.

Register at AEI.


Upcoming AEI Event: Teaching America–How Charter Schools Can Help Close the Civic Achievement Gap

Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Time: 9:00 AM — 10:30 AM
Location: AEI, Twelfth Floor
1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036

High-performing charter schools have forged a positive culture for their students defined by college-going and career success. However, this healthy emphasis on personal achievement has come with the inadvertent consequence of neglecting students’ civic education. Have efforts to cultivate “vocational” citizenship skills failed to satisfy the broader obligation of schools to cultivate the next generation of citizens and civic leaders? Join charter school leaders Mike Feinberg (KIPP), Seth Andrew (Democracy Prep), and Juan Rangel (United Neighborhood Organization), along with Robin Lake from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, as they discuss how charter schools understand their civic-education mandate. This event is sponsored by the AEI Program on American Citizenship in conjunction with the Civic Education Initiative and its new volume, Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011).

Register at AEI.


Why Memorial Day matters

Yesterday, the Program on American Citizenship and the Hudson Institute hosted a book forum on the meaning and importance of Memorial Day featuring Senator John McCain and the coeditors of What So Proudly We Hail. You can read more about the event at the Enterprise blog or watch it here to learn why Memorial Day still matters.