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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    Report Document No. 31

    Document Title
    Executive Summary of the 2011 Interim Work of the Virginia Commission on Civics Education

    Commission on Civics Education

    Enabling Authority
    30-316 (6.)

    Executive Summary
    The purposes of the Commission are to educate students on the importance of citizen involvement in a representative democracy, promote the study of state and local government among the Commonwealth's citizenry, and enhance communication and collaboration among organizations in the Commonwealth that conduct civics education.

    The Commission’s legislative members include Del. Richard L. Anderson (Chair), Del. Kenneth C. Alexander (Vice Chair), Del. Robert M. Tata, Del. R. Lee Ware, Jr., Sen. Chap Petersen, and Sen. William Roscoe Reynolds. The Commission’s citizen members include Barbara Thorpe, James H. Dillard II, Thomas C. Coen, George M. Wildasin, Ginger Stanley, William R. Wilson, Bob Gibson, John J. McGlennon, C. Scott Davis, Glen H. Hoptman, and Sean T. O’Brien. The ex officio member is Beverly Thurston, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

    2011 Activities:

    The Commission met twice in 2011. During the first meeting, the Commission elected a new chair, Del. Richard L. Anderson. The Commission also discussed and made plans for the 2011 Virginia Civics Summit. The Commission discussed the need for guidelines for teaching contentious issues in public schools, methods to incorporate state and local government into IB and Advanced Placement classes, and creating opportunities for students to engage in the political and decision-making processes.

    The second meeting of the Commission was devoted to the 2011 Virginia Civics summit, which drew 81 teachers from around the Commonwealth. The Honorable George R. Nethercutt spoke to attendees about the importance of Civics Education. Dr. Robert Holsworth gave an analysis of the 2011 Virginia elections. Former Del. James H. Dillard spoke of effective ways in which citizens can participate in government. Teachers Lesley Boger (Hampton City Schools), Rory Dippold (Falls Church City Schools), and Kathryn Niemeier (Henrico County Schools) discussed the importance of Project Citizen. Anthony H. Griffin of Fairfax County, Elise Emanuel of the Williamsburg-James City County School Board, Richmond City Council President Kathy Graziano, Mayor Dave Norris of Charlottesville, and former Fairfax City School Board member Penny Rood discussed the role of civics education in county and city governments.