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Providing Meaningful Opportunities for Students to Become Active, Informed, and Engaged

The Council on Public Legal Education, part of, has launched an ambitious Civic Learning Initiative (CLI) to bolster civic learning for Washington State students.

High quality civic learning is the most important factor in determining whether students will actively participate in their communities as adults. A democracy thrives when its citizens vote, show up for jury duty, engage in public life, join neighborhood groups, are aware of current civic issues, identify and listen to viewpoints other than their own, attend local government meetings, or voice their concerns to lawmakers.

Success for All Students

The Civic Learning Initiative will specifically address gaps in civic learning and determine how the state can be more effective in providing meaningful civic learning for all our Washington youth. It will focus on the policies, resources, and support necessary for success in K-12 schools and youth development programs.

Initiative Goals

     • Ensure that all Washington youth have access to high quality civics learning both in school and in out-of-school programming — satisfying six proven practices of the Civic Mission of Schools.

     • Foster collaboration between in-school and out-of-school civic learning educators so that opportunities for training, programs, curricula, and professional development are networked and shared.

     • Promote equity by prioritizing civic learning opportunities for underserved youth — especially youth of color, immigrants, and refugees, and youth in rural communities.

     • Establish local civic learning partnerships.

     • Raise public awareness and support for civic learning. Program Elements

     • The Civic Learning Initiative kicked off January 2017 with an initial summit for educators and legislators focusing on identifying civic learning obstacles and solutions to accomplish the goals.

     • A second summit showcasing existing high quality civic learning programs will be held in January 2018.

     • The summits will result in increased collaboration with the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the creation of a public-private partnership. Also, iCivics – Washington, a state-specific version of the national online iCivics curriculum, will be launched.

To learn more about the Civic Learning Initiative contact Margaret Fisher, or 206-501-7963.


     Mary Fairhurst, Chief Justice, Washington Supreme Court

     Ricardo S. Martinez, Chief Judge, United States District Court Western District of Washington

     Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington

     Bob Ferguson, Attorney General

     Kim Wyman, Secretary of State

     Chis Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction

     Ann Murphy, President, League of Women Voters of Washington

     Tony Jonas & Carinna Tarvin, Co-Presidents, Washington State Council for the Social Studies

     David Beard, Policy and Advocacy Director, School's Out Washington

     Renee Radcliff Sinclair, CEO and President, TVW


     Marlin Appelwick, Judge, Court of Appeals, Division I

     Judith Billings, Former Superintendent of Public Instruction


     Margaret Fisher, State Coordinator, Sandra Day O’Connor’s iCivics Program

By: editor1
Last Updated: October 9, 2017 - 12:05pm

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