In the wake of the 2016 election, people’s knowledge of and trust in our government institutions are at near record lows. Now, more than ever, incivility and misinformation are growing. Communities are increasingly polarized; unable to respectfully disagree with each other or consider ideas from different perspectives. Unsurprisingly, given these low levels of trust in our institutions, engagement in civic life is low. Our American democracy is in crisis.
We urgently need to build a national strategy that expands quality civic education standards at the elementary, middle, and high school levels to ensure that future generations: gain a deep understanding of civic life; know how to engage as informed citizens; and understand why their civic participation matters. This common understanding and purpose – which must exist across partisan divides – is critical to a healthy civil society in a democracy. We need #CivXNow!