December 7, 2021
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Legislation and Court Cases
SCOTUS to consider school choice policy in Maine
(Pixabay)
The US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday on whether a policy in Maine not to allow the use of public funds for tuition at schools that provide religious education violates families' constitutional rights. Lower courts have ruled in favor of the state, saying the policy upholds the separation of church and state.
Full Story: TIME (tiered subscription model) (12/6) 
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A lawsuit filed by the Justice Department alleges that the redrawn maps for Texas' state legislative and congressional districts "will deny Black and Latino voters an equal opportunity to participate in the voting process." The US Supreme Court has held that it cannot weigh in on matters of partisan redistricting, but the department alleges that some districts were revised "with discriminatory intent," which the high court has deemed unlawful.
Full Story: National Public Radio (12/6) 
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Nevada law makes gun manufacturers and distributors immune to a lawsuit alleging negligence and wrongful death in connection with the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that killed 60 people and injured more than 800, the state Supreme Court has held. The court's justices "urge the legislature to act if it did not mean to provide immunity in situations like this one," Justice Kristina Pickering wrote.
Full Story: Reuters (12/6) 
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Classroom Practice
National program teaches students about US Constitution
(Pixabay)
More than 500 middle- and high-school students in Indiana will participate in the We the People competition -- a national program that helps to teach students about the US Constitution. Through the program, students learn about the Constitution and how the government works, said Tim Kalgreen, director of Civic Education for the Indiana Bar Foundation.
Full Story: WFYI-TV/WFYI-FM (Indianapolis) (12/7) 
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Teaching with Tech
Are educators suffering from tech fatigue?
(George Frey/Getty Images)
Research shows declining interest from educators to use blended-learning approaches in schools, according to data from the Clayton Christensen Institute. Thomas Arnett, a senior research fellow at the institute, says many teachers may feel it is too much to offer blended learning now that most schools have returned in person.
Full Story: Education Week (12/2) 
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The State of Civics
Pledge to sleep outside in Maine yields food donations
(Unsplash)
Teachers and other staff at a Maine middle school helped incentivize donations of food for those in need by pledging to sleep outdoors if certain goals were met in the campaign. The initial "Camp out for Hunger" goal of 500 food items was surpassed, with students collecting 3,000 items.
Full Story: Kennebec Journal (Maine) (12/6) 
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A group of teenage climate activists in Portugal has filed lawsuits against the governments of 33 European countries, saying their human rights are being violated and futures put in peril by climate-changing emissions. The students say their experiences with extreme climate issues have prompted them to crowdfund the legal action, aided by the Global Legal Action Network, and a binding ruling from the European Court of Human Rights is expected next year.
Full Story: National Public Radio (12/2) 
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Discoveries
Eighty years after the attack at Pearl Harbor, a Pentagon-led program that helped identify about 400 of those who died on the USS Oklahoma in 1941 has come to an end. Today, on the 80th anniversary of the attack, the final remains that could not be identified will be reburied at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (12/5) 
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What's New from the Center for Civic Education
Learn about the American political system with our free online courses
(Saint Louis Art Museum/Center for Civic Education)
The Strengthening Democracy in America online course series features 10 free, self-paced online courses for educators and anyone who wants to better understand the American political system. Leading scholars of American history and political science provide their in-depth takes on topics ranging from the creation of the Constitution to the strengths and weaknesses of American political culture. Learn more.
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In this episode of 60-Second Civics, learn how a constitution limits -- or fails to limit -- the power of government. The Framers were students of history and sought to limit government through the higher law of a constitution.This episode is from our Ideas That Informed the American Founders series.
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One of the greatest and simplest tools for learning more and growing is doing more.
Washington Irving,
writer, essayist, historian, diplomat
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About the Center for Civic Education
The Center for Civic Education is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the United States and other countries. The Center develops high-quality curricular materials, provides exceptional professional development for teachers, and advocates for stronger civic education in the United States and emerging democracies.
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