Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, January 9, 2012

Administration officials to host conversation on education, strengthening democracy

U-M’s Julie Ellison is among education leaders invited to the White House event

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join Obama administration officials and education leaders from across the country — including Julie Ellison, professor of American culture, English language and literature, and art — to launch a national conversation about the importance of educating all students, from grade school to graduate school, for informed and engaged citizenship, which ultimately will strengthen America’s democracy and economy in the 21st century.

The event, “For Democracy’s Future: Education Reclaims Our Civic Mission,” will be held in the South Court auditorium at the White House on Tuesday.

It will be live streamed at www.whitehouse.gov/live. Early portions of the event will be shown from 2-4 p.m., and Duncan’s remarks on connecting college, career and citizenship will air live at 5:30 p.m. During breakout sessions from 4-5 p.m., schools, colleges and community partners are encouraged to host their own conversations about steps they can take to advance civic learning and democratic engagement among students.

The event coincides with the release of “A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future,” a report from the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. The report, which was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, argues for civic learning across the curriculum and offers a call to action to colleges and universities to renew their long-standing mission to educate students for informed, engaged citizenship.

The event also marks the release of the department’s report, “Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy: A Road Map and Call to Action,” and highlights the American Commonwealth Partnership, which brings together schools, colleges and other civic partners to promote civic education and civic identity throughout American education.