Civic Blog

Welcome to the Civic Blog and what we hope will become an ongoing discussion between our bloggers and readers. Visit often, share your perspectives, experiences and suggestions, and help us build a “civic” community. We seek a national conversation on a broad range of topics including education, science, politics and religion. We are always looking for guest bloggers. Contact us at if you’d like to post your thoughts.

  • Electing Our Future- Why Local Elections Matter

    By The Center for Civic Literacy on August 28, 2015 in Civic Blog

    As Indianapolis gears up for municipal elections this fall, the Center for Civic Literacy is trying to get the message out that local elections, DO matter! In a collaborative project with NUVO, WFYI and a number of civic organizations, we plan to identify individuals who are Marion County residents and registered to vote, but who do not vote in off-year

  • New Tool for Civic Learning in Development: The Civic Learning Rubric

    In 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, along with faculty and academic professionals from universities and colleges across the country will collaborate to create a national Civic Learning rubric. Following the VALUE Rubric Protocols developed by Wende Garrison and AAC&U, the national Civic Learning rubric will be suitable for institutional assessment of the civic content and knowledge students gain throughout their undergraduate education. The project team

  • Tending to the Nitty-Gritty

    By Sheila Kennedy on August 14, 2015 in Civic Blog

    Our televisions and Internet feeds are rapidly filling with coverage of the 2016 Presidential race. It’s hard to fault the media for its fascination with our quadrennial political spectacle, especially since the Republican field contains no fewer than seventeen candidates (at this count—who knows what other hats may be flung into the ring), many of whom are happily demonstrating that

  • TV debates warp political process: Opposing view

    By Jeffery McCall on August 7, 2015 in Civic Blog

    Political wonks and junkies breathlessly await the first televised “debate” of the primary season. But sensible voters will do something more productive on debate night. Taking a walk or going to a ballgame will be better than watching 10 over prepared GOP candidates try to upstage each other with verbal brickbats and one-liners. Political debates have become nothing more than

  • Why Should I Care? Why Should I Bother? Caring About Local Elections.

    We have heard it all before; the endless list of reasons and complaints of why people don’t engage politically, especially on a local level.  The narrative seems to question, “Local politics don’t really matter anyways,” so “why should I care?” “why should I bother?”  People are quick to exercise their democratic right every four years in national elections, but why

  • No, We’re Not Arguing from the Same Facts. How can Democracies make Good Decisions if Citizens are Misinformed?

    As we all learned in high school, citizens of a good democratic government are well-informed, able to sort through the issues of the day in deciding who to vote for or what is a good policy. Thomas Jefferson, among many others, made that argument: “by far the most important bill in our whole code is for the

  • Houston, We Have a Problem…

    By Sheila Kennedy on July 17, 2015 in Civic Blog

    In my periodic rants about the state of civic knowledge, I’ve frequently cited the results of a test periodically administered by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) as evidence of the American public’s worrisome deficit of civic literacy. As troubling as that deficit of public knowledge is–as much as it contributes to political polarization and our inability to hold government actors

  • Welcome to the second issue of The Journal of Civic Literacy.

    We are delighted to introduce this issue with an essay by widely respected former Congressman Lee Hamilton, a longtime and ardent proponent of civic literacy and civic engagement, whose Center on Congress has added greatly to the discourse over what skills and information are critical to the maintenance of our democratic system. The two research articles in this issue address

  • About Those Millennials…

    By Sheila Kennedy on July 3, 2015 in Civic Blog

    Oh those Millennials! We older folks wring our hands, ascribing to the younger generation all of the bad habits that our own parents ascribed to ours. One of the more popular accusations is that they don’t vote, and aren’t civically involved. But what do we really know about the voting habits of this particular generation? A recent survey shines some

  • Teaching Better Civics for Better Citizens

    The following article appeared in the Wall Street Journal on May 12, 2015 and was written by Sandra Day O’Connor and John Glenn.   It is re-posted here in its entirety: The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), released last week (Week of May 4th), revealed that our country’s eighth-graders aren’t just failing at civics and history. They fundamentally do

  • An Important Update from the Center

    By Sheila Kennedy on June 19, 2015 in Civic Blog

      Let me begin by thanking you for being a strong supporter of the IUPUI Center for Civic Literacy (CCL).  Thanks, as always, for your loyal readership, we are constantly trying to post things that we think you as the readers would be interested and engaged in.  The Center has many projects underway both in the areas of research and

  • ABC News Further Undercuts Media’s Credibility

    By Jeffery McCall on June 12, 2015 in Civic Blog

    The real damage done by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos’ vacuous ethics – as shown by his revelation of gifts to the Clinton Foundation – won’t be to him or his network. ABC will still get its ratings. George will still make his mega- millions in his cushy anchor seat, convinced he is a real news reporter and has done nothing wrong.

  • A Win for Civic Education- Senate Resolution 150

    It has been pretty down on our blog recently with various posts criticizing the lack of civic education and the state of our nation, but have no fear.  Hope is here!  On April 23rd, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution further stressing the importance of Civic and Government education in schools.  The resolution sponsored by Senator Grassley of Iowa, passed with

  • From Edward Murrow to Diane Sawyer, the deterioration of TV news

    By Jeffery M. McCall on May 29, 2015 in Civic Blog

    The Center is interested in the connections between News and Civic Literacy.  We believe quality news produces quality information which ultimately shapes an educated populace (hopefully).  Read this latest op-ed from National Advisory Committee member, Jeffery McCall about the quality of television news. NBC’s high-profile anchor, Brian Williams, has been suspended for telling tall tales. ABC’s highest-profile news personality, Diane Sawyer,

  • Anti-Intellectualism and the “Dumbing Down” of America

    By Ray Williams on May 22, 2015 in Civic Blog

    There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It’s the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason(link is external), says in an article in the Washington Post, “Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward

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