California students can now earn a State Seal of Civic Engagement. The award, announced by the State Board of Education on Sept. 10, is aimed at encouraging active and ongoing citizenship.
“The future of our democracy depends on a knowledgeable and actively engaged citizenry,” says State Board President Linda Darling-Hammond. “With this new seal, we hope to prepare all students with an empathetic concern for others, a deep understanding of democracy, and the civic engagement skills needed to contribute to the welfare of their local communities, the state, and the country.”
To earn the seal, students must demonstrate excellence in civic learning, participation in civics-related projects, contributions to their community, and an understanding of the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, and the American democratic system.
State history and social science teachers worked in partnership with the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop the initial requirements. The CDE ensured that the criteria for the award are accessible to all students, support rigorous and continuous civic engagement, promote diversity and inclusion, engage young students, reflect an interdisciplinary approach, and recognize civil disobedience as a form of civic engagement.
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