Preparing All Students for Civic Participation

Preparing All Students for Civic Participation

To help build a fair society and strong democracy, the Center works in New York State and nationally to ensure all students get an education that prepares them for effective civic participation.


Democracy Ready NY - Prepare every student for civic participation

Convening New Yorkers for Collective Action

The Center for Educational Equity founded and convenes the statewide, multigenerational, nonpartisan DemocracyReady NY Coalition. The Coalition works to

  • raise awareness about all New York students’ right under the state constitution to an education that prepares them for civic participation;
  • strengthen state policy, practice, and investment to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need to engage effectively in civic and political life, today and in the future‚Äč; and
  • mobilize the expertise of youth, parents, educators, researchers, advocates, civic organizations, attorneys, youth-development specialists, and philanthropy to work collectively toward these goals.

DemocracyReady NY is a big tent of organizations and individuals from across New York State. As a coalition it is focused on

  • Civic learning equity and access
  • media literacy education
  • Youth engagement
  • Promoting classroom discussion of controversial issues
  • Early/elementary school civic learning
  • Authentic assessment of civic readiness

New York Civic Learning Week

DemocracyReady NY annually celebrates NY Civic Learning Week.

Learn More & Participate

The Center is committed to build a stronger movement for civic education equity by strengthening connections and collaboration with influential state and national civic education leadership. We promote educational rights as a foundation and catalyst for equity in civic education in the United States. 

Our work to date has demonstrated the critical need for our rights-based perspective on civic readiness. Even veteran experts from the civic education and democratic engagement fields are largely unaware of the existing constitutional imperatives in many states that mandate effective civic preparation by the schools. Our rights-based focus on education for civic preparation brings an important new energy and urgency to the movement for educational equity both in New York and throughout the nation.

We work to increase awareness and understanding among education stakeholders, policymakers, and the public about the significance of existing state constitutional rights to civic education and of their potential to advance rights-based advocacy for civic education throughout the United States. 

Rhode Island

The Center, together with students and other allies in Rhode Island, initiated Cook v. McKee lawsuit, the pioneering effort to establish a right to education for capable civic participation under the U.S. Constitution. That case excited students, teachers, parents, researchers, advocates, and policymakers throughout the country. Read more about how the case brought about change in RI.

Webinars & Other Resources

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