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TO:                  Superintendents of Schools and Curriculum Coordinators


FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner


DATE:             December 10, 2003


RE:                   Web Survey on Civics Education



During its last session the Maine Legislature authorized the establishment of the Study Commission on the Scope and Quality of Citizenship Education.  The Study Commission is charged with assessing how Maine's schools and colleges are preparing students for their roles as Responsible and Involved Citizens as outlined in the Guiding Principles of Maine's Learning Results.  The Study Commission is also charged with making policy recommendations to the Legislature.


The civic purpose of the public schools has been much under discussion at the national level this past year.  The publication of “The Civic Mission of Schools” by the Carnegie Corporation and CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) has outlined both the critical importance of revitalizing civics education, as well as offering a collection of actions and strategies for States and localities to employ.  In addition, the First Annual Congressional Conference on Civic Education in September 2003 resulted in the development of action plans by all 50 states to evaluate the current status of civics across the country and develop frameworks for improvement as needed.  The Maine Study Commission is positioned well to apply these national recommendations to the Maine context.


The web link listed below will take you to the survey for Maine's school districts to determine the type and extent of curricular and co-curricular programs that currently address the civic mission of the public schools.  This information is critical for the Study Commission to make informed recommendations to the Maine Legislature.  I ask that you take a few minutes to gather the necessary information and respond to the survey by Wednesday, December 31, 2003.  As in other recent cases, the Department is increasingly relying on web-based surveys due to the ease of response and tabulation.  In order to understand the role that pre-service education programs play in preparing and supporting teachers to support the attainment of the civic mission of the schools, the Study Commission is also surveying teacher preparation programs across Maine. 


If you have questions about the survey please contact Patrick Phillips, Deputy Commissioner of Education, by email at or by phone at 624-6606.


One person can respond to all items for your district or the work may be divided among a number of individuals.  It will be necessary to enter your superintendent code, as listed at the web link below, to gain access to the survey.  Please note that once the survey has been submitted, it cannot be revised.


Your assistance with completing the survey will be much appreciated. 


The URL for the survey is:




The URL for the superintendent code list is: