Wednesday September 28, 2005

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige Headlines Civics Education Seminar

Oct. 10 event to feature national experts discussing ways to make American students more civic-minded.

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and the University of Dayton School of Education and Allied Professions will sponsor the seminar "Making Good Citizens: The Role of Civic and Character Education in 21st Century America" from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, at Sinclair Community College in downtown Dayton.

The half-day seminar will include three presentations and two panel discussions about the value of instilling civic and character education in America's students, how teachers can best prepare today's students to become tomorrow's competent citizens, and how communities can support civic education in the classroom.

Presenters include nationally renowned experts and authors J. Martin Rochester, distinguished teaching professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; Amy Kass, senior lecturer at the University of Chicago; and Jeffery Mirel, professor of educational studies and history at the University of Michigan School of Education.

Rod Paige, former U.S. secretary of education and member of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation board of trustees, will conclude the seminar with a presentation titled "The Achievement Gap and its Impact on Civic Engagement."
"This conversation is imperative for America's future," Paige said. "We must teach our children more than reading and math — we must also teach them the values upon which this nation was built. Dr. Martin Luther King said it best: 'Intelligence plus character — that is the true goal of education.'

"We must help students understand universal values such as respect, tolerance, responsibility, honesty, self-restraint, family commitment, civic duty, fairness and compassion," Paige added. "These values are shared by all people of character who are committed to freedom and justice. A new generation of American citizens, instilled with these values, will allow the United States not only to succeed, but to act as a shining example to the fledgling democracies taking shape around the world."

An agenda for the event follows. This seminar is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Contact Mea Greenwood at mea.greenwood@notes.udayton.edu or (937) 229-3557 to register.

The seminar is part of a series of events this fall sponsored by Dayton: A Peace Process, a local grassroots organization drawing attention to political, religious and education issues 10 years after the Dayton Peace Accords.

"MAKING GOOD CITIZENS: THE ROLE OF CIVIC AND CHARACTER EDUCATION IN 21ST CENTURY AMERICA"

Sponsored by:
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
University of Dayton School of Education and Allied Professions

Time and date: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, Oct. 10, 2005,
Location: Sinclair Community College Building 12

8 a.m.: Continental breakfast and registration

8:30 a.m.: Welcome and introduction by Thomas J. Lasley II, dean of the University of Dayton School of Education and Allied Professions.

8:40 a.m.: Presentation, "The Training of Idiots: Civics Education in America's Schools," by J. Martin Rochester, distinguished teaching professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Issues include: Can schools and educators do a better job of preparing young people for civic engagement in the 21st century? How?

9:10 a.m.: Panel I, "The Core Knowledge Required for Moral, Engaged and Responsible Citizens." Issues include: Is there a core knowledge base that young people need to become engaged and responsible citizens? Whose civic values should be taught?

Panelists: Christopher E. Heller, president and CEO, KIDS Voting USA; J. Martin Rochester, distinguished teaching professor, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Mary Beth Klee, history and character education consultant; Bishop Herbert Thompson, Episcopalian bishop of southern Ohio.

10:10 a.m.: Break

10:15 a.m.: Presentation, "The Teacher as Civic Agitator," by Amy Kass, senior lecturer at the University of Chicago. Issues include: What are the keys to teaching teachers to be effective in preparing young people as citizens? What is a teacher-agitator?

10:45 a.m.: Panel II, "How to Teach for Democracy." Issues include: What are the most important lessons about the American experience of preparing young people for citizenship that developing democracies should take from us? Can the school alone prepare young people for the responsibilities of effective citizenship?

Panelists: Jeffery Mirel, professor of educational studies and history, University of Michigan School of Education; Jayson Franklin, social studies teacher, the WEB DuBois Academy; Amy Kass, senior lecturer at the University of Chicago; Walter C. Parker, professor of education at the University of Washington, Seattle.

11:45-12:15: Presentation and concluding remarks, "The Achievement Gap and its Impact on Civic Engagement," by Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education and Thomas B. Fordham Foundation board member.

12:15-1 p.m.: box lunch

For media interviews, contact Kristen Wicker of the University of Dayton at (937) 229-3256 or via e-mail at wicker@udayton.edu or Jen Leischer of the Fordham Foundation at (202) 223-5452 or via e-mail at jleischer@edexcellence.net.