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!

If “Did Not Vote” Had Been A Candidate In The 2016 US Presidential Election, It Would Have Won By a Landslide, Brilliant Maps.
This compelling visualization shows that more eligible voters sat out the 2016 presidential election than voted for any candidate in 41 states, accounting for 471 electoral votes.

Is There Any Point to Protesting? New Yorker.
“Is protest a productive use of our political attention? Or is it just a bit of social theatre we perform to make ourselves feel virtuous, useful, and in the right?” This article explores these questions and more in a thorough examination of recent protests, those of decades ago, and literature on the subject.

Viewers Who Tweet During Presidential Debates Learn More about Political Issues, MU Study Finds, University of Missouri.
Researchers at the University of Missouri’s Political Communication Institute have found evidence that people who engaged with social media during last year’s presidential debates acquired greater political knowledge than those who watched more passively, showing that the “second screen” experience can produce benefits if used in the right way.

Americans are constitutionally illiterate, Minnesota Public Radio.
Constitution Day is September 17, and an annual survey of American knowledge of the Constitution shows few changes from recent years. Only one in four can name all three branches of government, and one third can’t name a single branch. More than one-third cannot name a right protected by the First Amendment as well. Full results of the survey are available from the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Education By the Numbers, New York Times Magazine.
The NYT Magazine’s Education Issue presents statistics showing how profound the inequalities in America’s education system have become. The issue also includes features on AP testing, charter schools in Michigan, and the first black students to integrate the South’s elite prep schools.