First Friday in December becomes California Civics Day for Teachers

Assemblywoman Buchanan's resolution wins Legislature's approval to become law

A resolution establishing an annual "Civic Day for the Teacher" and sponsored by Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-15th) was signed into law Monday.

The resolution, ACR 111, establishes the first Friday in December as Civics Day and is meant to illustrate the importance of teaching civics in all grade levels.

Buchanan said the special day not only highlights the important role of civic education in a participatory democracy but it hopefully will also encourage staff development for teachers who want to strengthen the teaching of civics in their classrooms. It's consistent with the goal of the California Civic Mission of Schools.

The resolution as passed by the State Assembly reads:

WHEREAS, Civic education is vital to the development of the skills and knowledge needed to become an informed and engaged citizen; and

WHEREAS, Studies show that most pupils lack a proficient understanding of civics, including government, history, law, and democracy; and

WHEREAS, A teacher's knowledge and understanding of civics and government and the ability to communicate with and inspire pupils are essential in providing pupils with high-quality instruction in civic education; and

WHEREAS, Teachers should be encouraged to participate in professional development opportunities that broaden their knowledge and enhance their ability to provide high-quality instruction in civic education; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, that the Legislature proclaims the first Friday in December as California Civics Day for Teachers, and urges all local educational agencies to encourage teachers to participate in professional development opportunities focused on civics on that day.

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Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2010 at 11:21 am

We love you Joan! Thanks for your hard work and continued support of young people and the teachers who teach them.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

How sad: teachers not teaching and off to learn civics when high school graduates can not even read a ruler. I know because we had a very hard time filling good paying jobs where that basic skill and knowledge of fractions was required. These education bureaucrats need to get out into the work world, learn what skills are needed today to get a job, and start teaching them. Not everyone goes to college, some need to get a job. Wonder how many of our teachers can do fractions.

Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Aug 11, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Civics is the application of the knowledge one learns in government. When I was a child we called it citizenship. It is what creates good participatory citizens and it is what builds good character. It is not an add on but necessary for a democracy. Good education is not an either or proposition. We need a well educated citizenry. Thanks for recognizing that a good civic education is necessary.

Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2010 at 8:36 pm

In the June election, Alameda county saw 35% voter turn out. That means 3.5/10 people chose to cast their ballot. My government students analyze statistics, read graphs, and yes, are also more likely to cast their vote as a result of their education. They also occasionally use a ruler and study grammar whether they are going to college or not.

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