What We’re Reading

Every few weeks, GC picks out a selection of articles that are relevant to our work and to the civics 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!

What happens to local news when there is no local media to cover it? Washington Post
This article explores the decline in local media coverage and how that trend impacts communities through the lens of East Palo Alto, a working-class city of 30,000 in California. East Palo Alto lacks a dedicated, regularly published local newspaper (print or online), and rarely warrants a mention in the more than five media outlets that are dedicated to Palo Alto, the wealthy city just across the highway.

Opinion: African-American youth need to learn the value of civic education and action, Mercury News
Debra Watkins, Founder and Executive Director of the California Alliance of African American Educators, reflects on recent incidences of racism and bigotry in schools, stresses the importance of revitalizing civic engagement, and discusses efforts to train Black students to become civic leaders.

Democracy Without Politics, New York Times
This op-ed tells the story of town meeting day in Lyme, New Hampshire (population 1,700). The author discusses lessons learned from participating in democracy on the most local level, and how these lessons apply to to our national discourse.

Gifted Programs Ditched for Hands-On Learning for All at More NYC Schools, DNAinfo
A growing number of schools, including all of District 8 in The Bronx, are offering enriched learning opportunities, like those provided in gifted-and-talented programs, to all students. The approach aims to boost students’ critical thinking skills. Early evidence suggests it may also be responsible for improvements in test scores.