CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

June 2014 E-Update

June 25th, 2014
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New CIRCLE Analysis of Youth Voter Registration in Midterm Elections

As part of our ongoing efforts to explore young people’s political participation ahead of this November’s midterm election, today we are releasing a fact sheet about youth voter registration. This analysis by CIRCLE Deputy Director Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg explores registration with particular focus on the 2010 contest, the election most comparable to the upcoming 2014 midterm.

The fact sheet includes data on gaps in youth registration rates between midterm and presidential cycles, differences in how young people (ages 18-29) and older adults register to vote, the reasons why young people say they did not register to vote in 2010, and the effects of policies like same-day registration on youth registration rates.

Over the next two weeks, we will feature further discussion on these topics in a series of blog posts. The first post, published concurrently with the fact sheet, examines turnout rates among young registered voters.

Read the fact sheet HERE. You can also explore our innovative, interactive map that provides youth registration and other voting data from the past 30 years of midterm and presidential elections.


CIRCLE Releases Findings from National Survey of Civics and Government Teachers

In 2013, with funding from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, CIRCLE surveyed a national sample of civics and U.S. government teachers for our Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge, which produced the report “All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement.” We recently released a new fact sheet with detailed data from that national teacher survey, along with key conclusions and recommendations.

Some central findings:

  • Virtually all teachers believe in the importance of civic education, but disagree on what to prioritize
  • Most teachers do not shy away from encouraging discussion of controversial social and political issues
  • Civics and government teachers work in complex environments, and often have not had adequate professional development

The survey includes additional data about how teachers approach topics and activities like voting, media literacy, and community service. It also touches on how civics and government teachers incorporated the 2012 election into their courses.

Read the National Teacher Survey fact sheet HERE.

Stay connected to CIRCLE on Facebook and Twitter to learn more. Sign up here for CIRCLE’s monthly e-update.

Highlights from our Map of Civic Education Policy

In a recent blog post, we explore some of the takeaways from our interactive, state-by-state map of K-12 civic education policy in the United States.

The analysis illustrates substantial variation in state requirements and assessments, and the many recent changes in the field. For example, in the last two years, five states added civics or American government requirements as a condition of graduation from high school. However, only eight of those states with required courses also have required statewide tests or assessments.

Read the blog post HERE.

Next Month: Frontiers of Democracy Conference

There is one week left to register for the 2014 Frontiers of Democracy Conference, which will be held on July 16-18 at Tufts University.

The event will examine the state of the civic field through provocative short talks, interactive learning exchanges, and Civic Studies sessions.

The conference is organized by by our host institution, the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. The event will examine the state of the civic field through provocative short talks, interactive learning exchanges, and Civic Studies sessions. CIRCLE Director Peter Levine is one of the event’s organizers.

Find the conference agenda and register HERE.

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