Civic education is the founding mandate of public education. Free public schools were developed in America for the express purpose of raising up good citizenship. This purpose has been abandoned and must be regained. Thus the mission of The Initiative is to create a demand for a more expert learning experience and to give our kids the splendid pleasure of learning what power they have.
Research over the past fifty years has demonstrated that the average American has, to say the least, a rather poor understanding of Civic Knowledge. But, by example, America has made democracy the governance system of choice.
Democracy, in any incarnation is the only governing system that requires some engagement by the civic body. In one fashion or another, sooner or later, the sovereignty of the people is the difference between democracy and monarchy, theocracy and totalitarianism or any other system that has been devised thus far; so that the people, as sovereign, the responsible party who ultimately makes the decisions, is the irresistible “sell” to the world, that makes Democracy America’s most successful product.
"We share an important goal in seeking to educate the next generation about our system of government and how to participate in it. I believe civic education work to be among the most important endeavors of my career. I appreciate your passion and commitment to this worthy cause."
Sandra Day O’Connor
Democracy argues that people are responsible for and can control their own lives, that they have a role in affecting their future, of improving their present, of achieving participation in the pursuit of their own happiness. The youth of America needs certain skills to become great sovereigns. These skills have been taught, will be taught and must be taught to each generation of Americans, because no gene will ever be found that passes along civic expertise and knowing how to run a republican democracy. It must be taught in realistic terms such as how do you explore the substance of an issue? The necessity of debate, the ability to stand against popular opinion or the majority view and the raising up of the values of dissent and civility. In a nation founded by dissenters, we shoot dissenters on sight. Civility is not just manners, it is the oxygen that democracy requires.
Turning a people into a sovereign is a difficult and complex process, but it must be offered as using the steering wheel, the pressure on the pedal, the rearview mirror, etc. is taught to all when learning to drive a car.