Missing Eduflack?

Apologies, my edu-friends, as I haven’t posted to Eduflack in a while. My content commitments have me focused on other platforms and on other mediums. But you can still find me.

I’m currently writing and commenting for Forbes and it’s Nonprofit Council. You can find my posts here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnonprofitcouncil/people/patrickriccards/?sh=779fafb22cb4

I continue to broadcast the Soul of Education on the BAM! Radio Network weekly. You can find those shows here: https://www.bamradionetwork.com/genre/the-soul-of-education/

Eduflack regularly posts the latest on education, leadership, communications, and nonprofit management on his LinkedIn page, which you can find here: https://www.linkedin.com/mwlite/in/riccards

And I’m just as active as ever on Twitter (and somewhat active on Instagram), where I am @eduflack on both of them.

I’m also working on some new endeavors, including podcasting, which I look forward to announcing later this fall.

So I’m not neglectful here. I’m just sharing my edu-love!

No Free College for You!

Millions of Americans elected Joe Biden president last November believing that free college would be a top legislative priority. But as a $3.5 trillion package gets carved down to less that $2 trillion, it seems that free community college is being sacrificed for priorities of greater interest to the progressive community.

Over on the Soul of Education on the BAM! Radio Network, we explore the topic … and why it is so easy for education to be sacrificed on the national scene.

Give it a listen here – https://www.bamradionetwork.com/track/free-community-college-for-all/

Eduflack on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal

This week, dear ol’ Eduflack had the honor of appearing on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal to discuss the state of social studies instruction in the United States today and what we can do to improve the teaching and learning of American history.

The full 40-minute segment can be found here. Happy watching!


Washington Examiner: Americans Don’t Know Ike

Over at the Washington Examiner, Paul Bedard reports on the latest National research from the Driving Force Institute, focusing on how the average American doesn’t know Dwight Eisenhower was a general during World War II. Of course, today is Ike’s birthday.

The full article can be found here: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/washington-secrets/on-ikes-birthday-many-are-clueless-about-general-president

Happy reading!

DFI: Most Americans Still Can’t Pass U.S. Citizenship Test

Oct. 6, 2021 — During a time that saw an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the percentage of Americans who could pass the U.S. Citizenship Test is only 42%, but that still marks an increase of six points since advocates initially conducted the survey three years ago. The Driving Force Institute (DFI) says the fact that nearly 6 in 10 Americans could not pass a citizenship test highlights the urgent need for new approaches to teaching and learning American history. 

Only 17% know that the U.S. Constitution was written in 1787; a mere 27% correctly understand that Benjamin Franklin was a U.S. diplomat (36% thought he invented the lightbulb); and less than half (43%) know that Woodrow Wilson was president during World War I. 

The survey uses the same questions that those who apply for citizenship must answer; improved responses were seen in a number of areas. For instance, the percentage of Americans who know the United States fought Japan, Germany, and Italy in World War II has gone from 50% to 55% since 2018. 

The percentage of Americans who know that nine Justices serve on the U.S. Supreme Court increased from 43% to 51%.

People applying for citizenship must correctly answer 12 out of 20 questions on the test. Even though most survey takers failed the test, 63% said the test’s difficulty was “about right.” 

The DFI survey, conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies, has a margin of error of ±3.1 with a random sample of 1,000 American citizens.

Patrick Riccards, founder and chief executive officer of DFI, says, “We launched our initiative to make American history content interesting and relevant for today’s learners, especially females and people of color. The latest survey shows we’re not moving fast enough. Americans are rightfully proud of their country, but they risk losing what makes it special if more of us don’t understand and appreciate our history.” 

DFI’s UNTOLD series on YouTube is the home for short formvideos; it includes sections highlighting Black, Latino, and women’s history; DFI also makes related materials available to educators, whether in a traditional classroom, virtual or hybrid setting, including a comprehensive professional development series created in partnership with the Kentucky Valley Education Collective

Makematic and DoGoodery create and distribute the videos. DFI is also collaborating with the American Battlefield Trust, New York Historical Society, iCivics, Smithsonian, and others on the creation of specific video series for high school students. 

DFI uses an integrated set of efforts designed to get at the three legs of the history instruction stool:

Support instruction for current K–12 American history teachers, designed to both improve their own understanding of American history and empower them to better connect with their students and make history an exciting and worthwhile pursuit of study. As an incentive, teachers who successfully participate in DFI receive micro-credentials and badges that signify they are part of a national network committed to improving American history instruction.

Curriculum design for both traditional classrooms and out-of-school-time environments, 

changing the very way American history is taught in communities across the nation; and

Direct-to-consumer engagement, providing interesting and dynamic learning opportunities to students (and by extension,their families) through a digital platform.

To meet these needs, DFI launched a pilot project that recruitssmall teams of educators in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. This project helps shape the development of the website content, ensuring the most effective utilization possible.

Ultimately, DFI will seek to develop an online professional development platform, a series of “historians’ toolkits,” models for a “flipped” American history curriculum, and an archive of games and simulations for educators to use with students.






Stacey Finkel



Supporting First-Gen College Students

Over at Education Talk Radio, dear ol’ Eduflack recently had the opportunity to join Coker University President Natalie J. Harder to discuss first-generation college goers and how institutions are using programs such as federal TRIO to ensure student success.

Give it a listen here – https://www.blogtalkradio.com/edutalk/2021/09/09/coker-university–meeting-the-needs-of-first-generation-college-students

Sometimes, It is Important to “Quit”

“No, the issue lies squarely with the adults in the room and their priorities. The adults who chose to be silent rather than confront an ugly and difficult issue. The adults who just want to move on. The adults who are more offended that their dirty laundry was aired on public social media. And the adults who appear to tolerate a little racism as long as it means winning.”

Dear ol’ Eduflack, writing on Medium about why my family had to quit my daughter’s cheer gym over the use of the N word. You can read the full piece here – https://link.medium.com/lFFTE4qxujb

Recovery for the Whole Child

As states continue to explore the best ways to spend their school recovery dollars from the Biden Administration, many are thinking small and using the one-time infusion to fill holes that will just appear again.

Others are looking to think big. Over in California, policy makers are looking to make a huge investment into the mental health and social/emotional well being of their learners.

Over on Soul of Education on the BAM! Radio Network, I explore the story here – https://www.bamradionetwork.com/track/a-model-for-putting-student-mental-health-and-well-being-first-and-everything-else-second/

Give it a listen!