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Home > Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools > Why is the Campaign Important?

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Why is the Campaign Important?

A look at Current Civic Education Data

Service learning & Community Service Opportunities

  • 46% of U. S. high schools offer service learning opportunities (U. S. Department of Education, 1999)
  • In Maine, 58% of colleges have community services offices, yet only 18% of these offices have full time staff (Campus Compact, 2002)
  • 51% of Maine youth said they were engaged in community service; and 47% of this service was organized through school as a service-learning opportunity(Maine Marks, 2003)
  • Only 46% of youth say they can make a difference in solving community problems (CIRCLE, 2002)
  • 50% of Maine youth feel they are given chances to make their city/town better (Maine Marks, 2001)

The Adult Community and Youth

  • Only 39% of Maine high school youth feel that adults make them feel important (Maine Marks, 2001)
  • Just 43% of Maine high school students think that adults listen to them (Maine Marks, 2001)
  • In 2001, 72% of Maine parents strongly agreed or agreed that young people in their community were more of an asset to the community than a burden, compared to 81% of all Maine adults who were asked the same question

School-Based Civic Education

  • 30% of Maine students score at the "meets standards" level in Social Studies, students only respond correctly to 50% of the items in Civics; and 67% of students believe Social Studies won't be useful in their future work (MEA 2002-03)
  • Nearly three-fourths of high school students either do not know how they feel about the First Amendment or admit they take it for granted. (Knight Foundation Survey, 2005)
  • 75% of students scored at "basic" or "below basic" levels on the Civics segment of the NAEP
  • Nearly 33% of H.S. seniors lack an understanding of how government works (CIRCLE, 2002)

Civic Engagement

  • Almost half our youth (49%) say voting is not important, 34% see voting as a choice, 20% as a responsibility and only 9% as a duty (CIRCLE, 2002)
  • Voter turnout rates among 18-24 year-olds have dropped by one-third since 1972; youth as a proportion of all voters had dropped from 14% in 1972 to 8% in 2000 (CIRCLE, 2002)
  • In 1960, 60% of college freshmen viewed keeping up with politics as "very important" or "essential," compared with 33% this year, 31% last year and 28% in 2000 (HERI, UCLA, 2002)
  • Only 6% of college students participated in a political campaign during the 2000 election cycle; only 13% to 17% (depends on e-mail or mail) say that contacting an elected official will bring about significant change (Hart, 2001)


Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools: Education for Democracy