Campaigning is the Easy Part …

It’s very easy to focus civic engagement and civic education on voting. As such, we could take real satisfaction that the hard work is over, what with the 2020 elections behind us.

But the real work is must beginning. Now educators must focus on what comes next and who best to keep students engaged.

We explore the topic on TrumpEd for the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen here – https://www.bamradionetwork.com/track/the-election-is-the-easy-part-the-challenge-is-what-comes-next/

Casting a Wide Net for EdSec

“Safe choices like Eskelsen Garcia, Hrabowski, or even U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia would all be solid nominees and cabinet secretaries in the Biden Administration. But what if we tabled the safe, solid considerations for a moment and began to consider the bold, the innovative, and the atypical. At such a time of change and uncertainty in both our nation and our educational systems, considering the alternatives may be just what our schools, our educators, and our learners need.”

From Eduflack’s latest on Medium (and also published on Project Forever Free and The Education Post)

Voting Is The Easy Part …

Election Day 2020 is officially over. Now, all that is left is the counting and the waiting. We are doing, barring the unforeseen, with the speeches, the commercials, the emails, the texts, the fundraising, and the angst that comes with an election year.

So as we wait for the remainder of ballots to be counted, it is essential that we teach that voting is the bare minimum we should expect from our citizenry. True civic education only began yesterday. Now the hard work must continue.

I discuss it further on the latest episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen!  

What We Have Is a Failure to Communicate Civics

In recent years, we’ve seen that “civic education” is the new hot topic in public ed. With politically diverse states from Massachusetts to Florida now requiring civics instruction, many are seeing civics as the new STEM.

But with all of the talk about civics, and all of the dollars spent by philanthropy on civic education, we are seeing very little when it comes to concrete actions and measurable outcomes. Not only do we not know how to measure progress, but we likely see funder interest in the subject shrinking if the 2020 elections turn out a certain way. After all, then the voters may have addressed the need themselves.

Why are we struggling so with this supposedly important topic? One major reason may be our collective inability to define what civic education actually is. To some, it is government and politics. To others, civic activism. And to others, a watered-down version of history light.

Over on the BAM! Radio Network, we discuss the topic and how we need a common understanding if we are to take the subject seriously. Give it a listen here – https://www.bamradionetwork.com/track/are-we-paying-enough-attention-to-civic-education-should-we-care/.

Train Wreck as Teachable Moment

After a week, are we ready to accept that the first presidential debate can indeed be a teachable moment in our classrooms?

On the latest for BAM Radio Network, I explain how the performance was both the personification of our social media world AND a chance to teach how our society just doesn’t agree on basic issues (and that that is OK).

Give it a listen!

https://www.bamradionetwork.com/track/time-to-teach-students-and-ourselves-to-accept-that-everyone-doesnt-agree-with-us/

A New Ed Department

“Yes, our educational priorities and needs have shifted over the last decade. Despite these changes, though, we are still focused on important issues such as teacher development, 21st century and STEM skills, education technology, and the P-20 education continuum. How we address these issues and the outcomes we expect from them have changed dramatically, though. A new approach, with new foci, serves as a strong rhetorical tool to make clear that education, edu-investment, edu-transformation, and edu-innovation are central to the rebuilding of our nation. And such rhetoric is all the more important when current economic concerns make it difficult to fund new policy ideas straight out of the gate, a fact that is all too real today.”

From Eduflack’s latest over at Medium, exploring the need for a new structure and new foci at the US Education Department

What If Trump Just Drops the Mike?

Just because we expect every President to run for re-election it doesn’t mean it has to be that way. Stepping aside while still on top, and with the ability to write the history, would be a very Trumpian thing to do. And doing so now, just five months before the election, would allow Trump to personally select his successor, single-handedly choosing the GOP nominee for coronation at an in-person convention in a southern city to be named later. It is the ultimate embrace of the Art of the Deal.

From Eduflack’s latest on Medium, exploring how President Trump could follow in the footsteps of other U.S. presidents and declare he has accomplished all he set out to and will not seek re-election after all

Civics Falling by the Wayside?

Yes, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is absolutely correct. Civics education, in general, is falling by the wayside, and it is happening at a time when civics ed is more important than ever.

But before we rush to fill the gaps, we need to be mindful about today’s students, how they learn, and what interests them. The answer isn’t just more textbooks, read longer and louder. No, the true answer is experience-based learning, active education, and other such activities they engage and encourage students to pursue more.

We explore this topic on the latest episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen!