What We’re Reading

Every other week, GC picks out a selection of articles that are relevant to our work and to the civic education space as a whole. We at GC love to expand our learning in every aspect of what we do, and we hope you enjoy our selections!


Education Secretary says civics education should encourage activism, Washington Post. In a speech last week, United States Secretary of Education John King articulated the need for effective, action-based civics education. “By getting involved in real issues, students learn that it is not enough to just shout about their disappointments and criticize the ideas of others,” he said. “They have to offer solutions. They have to work together to advocate for those solutions. They have to push to make sure the solutions are implemented.” October 19, 2016.


Go Midwest, Young Hipster. New York Times. This piece examines Americans’ tendency toward political self-segregation and its effects on national and state-level politics. While some Democrats claim their disadvantages in House and state legislature races are due to Republican gerrymandering, this doesn’t tell the full story. Democrats also suffer from “clustering” that stems from a number of factors and can self-perpetuate with negative effects on civic discourse. October 22, 2016.


As Voters Tune Out, Worries Grow About Turnout. Wall Street Journal. A recent survey shows that fewer registered voters say they’re interested in this year’s election than in 2012 and 2008, which could signal that voter turnout will be lower than in recent presidential elections. The biggest dips in interest are among African-Americans and young voters. October 17, 2016.


Longbox, 99% Invisible. This podcast episode looks back at the birth of Rock the Vote, and how a quirk in compact disc packaging helped thousands of young people petition their representatives to pass the “Motor Voter” bill, which was signed into law as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. Since the law went into effect, the percentage of the population that is registered to vote has increased by over 10 percent, and over 150 million voter registrations have been filled out at the DMV. September 27, 2016.