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What Philippine Education Contributed to the Return of the Marcoses.




The presence of factual errors and outright misinformation in textbooks at school has provided fertile ground for the revisionist history of Marcos and his family. Marcos clan as well as its comrades.

In 2018, I was speaking before a large group of teachers from all over the nation about the difficulties in Social Studies education. One of the issues I highlighted during the discussion was the growing trend of negative revisionism in the past, mainly due to attempts to portray the former ruler Ferdinand E. Marcos, his family and those. The latter lived during the Martial Law period in a positive perspective.

In the open forum, one teacher at a school in Northern Luzon asked how something could be classified as historical revisionism or even an attempt to distort the past. She claimed that no one can honestly tell the truth of history and that it’s always been an issue of interpretation and perspective. The notion that the Marcoses were involved in the perversion of historical revisionism was an attempt to propagate the “other side” who believed their interpretation of the past to be accepted as the canon. She was incredibly enthusiastic about her opinions and was in tears during her speech.

This story might seem a bit odd for those who are educated about the history of the country and Martial Law. In my experiences as a teacher and educator trainer over the last 15 years, this was a normal reaction to discussions about Marcoses and Martial Law. Marcoses as well as Martial Law. Of all the subjects in Philippine history, they have proved to be the most controversial for teachers and have produced the most heated discussions. There are many reasons behind this, including regional loyalty and differing Martial Law experiences and access to information, for instance. Whatever the reason, it’s safe to say that it’s a matter to be concerned when the teachers, as those who oversee the education of the next generation of Filipinos, are unsure of the facts and the legacy of one of the bleakest periods of Philippine history.


Questions in Martial Law Education in the Philippines

While the Marcoses have slowly retreated to the apex of political power, the commentaries have been written about how they managed to leverage the potential of social media to restore their image to an era of Post-People Power generation. There have been various comments about how the Marcoses successfully joined forces with famous political clans to help strengthen their national leadership bid, culminating in the election of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. in the presidential election elections this month.

A topic that deserves deeper discussion, one of the most important aspects is the role of education was a significant factor in the growth of the Marcoses in the past three decades. A few articles have raised concerns regarding Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) textbooks containing mistakes and inaccurate information concerning Marcos Sr. and Martial Law. In these books, the former strongman is typically depicted as a positive figure, a kind dictator who needed to resort to force to treat society’s ailments.

As content editor in the field of Philippine History textbooks, I experienced firsthand the extent to which mistakes, in fact, carelessness or even outright misinformation, has haven ignored ad made the manuscripts or even in print sometimes. As I’ve discussed elsewhere in the past, I complained to a publishing house following the authors of the Philippine History textbook copied an inaccurate write-up of a widely critiqued article from The Official Gazette in 2016, where it was stated the fact that Marcos has “stepped out” as President in the year 1986 instead of being removed in People Power Revolution. People Power Revolution. The government’s communications department eventually modified the segment following an outcry from the public.

Controlling the content of history textbooks in the Philippines could be difficult for historians, academics, and officials from the Department of Education since textbook production in the Philippines is now more liberal after the removal of Marcos. Although there is no doubt that the Department of Education still has control over which topics have to be addressed and on which learning outcomes are to be measured, however, they have no control over the text. What we read within our books is the result of many different factors, including the author’s personal beliefs and experiences, the editorial staff’s assessments and recommendations, and the business aspect of publishing textbooks.

It is crucial to talk about the accuracy of textbooks since, in the Philippines, most Araling Panlipunan (AP) teachers aren’t history majors and thus heavily rely on books. This is a significant challenge for the industry, as in the past, before Philippine reforms in education, which were implemented in 2013, the majority of AP subjects at the high school were based on the history of the country: 3 out of four issues, with the only one exception, was economics. It is expected that teachers and schools invest in the development of faculty to tackle this problem. However, the reality is that there is no incentive for most AP teachers to invest in the specialization of content when they have already invested in becoming certified teachers. Because of this, it is of paramount importance that high-quality textbooks are used in the classroom.


A more pressing issue is how Martial Law is discussed and studied in textbooks and in the classroom. An investigation conducted by the Far Eastern University Public Policy Center in January 2022 revealed that the discussion of Martial Law in selected AP textbooks was not very extensive regardless of the importance of the subject. The same was confirmed within the school. Because Philippine history is generally taught chronologically and therefore, issues such as Martial Law and the People Power Revolution tend to be discussed towards the end of the syllabus. Because of the number of subjects required to be covered by AP teachers during a single school year and the regular cancellations of classes caused by natural disasters like typhoons, Martial Law is often not covered in-depth, and in depth it is due. I’ve personally witnessed that it was not mentioned at all in some cases.

Additionally, there is the question of presentation, emphasis, and understanding of Martial Law. For instance, how did corruption in that Martial Law era discussed? In many cases, the focus was on Marcos’s friends’ corrupt practices but less on the Marcos family itself. This could have been quickly helped by presenting Supreme Court rulings recognizing the clan’s illicit wealth magnitude. Without a thorough discussion of the direct involvement of Marcos in the corruption of their family and graft, we are the possibility to perpetuate the Marcos myth that says they were not corrupt yet were at the mercy of unscrupulous individuals who profited from their position.

Another frequent topic discussed in discussions of Marcos and Martial Law included the massive infrastructure projects of the President. In both classes and textbooks, there is often an emphasis on aspects of Marcos rule by using living icons such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Lung Center of the Philippines and the Philippine Heart Center, and the San Juanico Bridge, among numerous other projects, but without having a proper analysis of the circumstances surrounding the projects. For instance, one should be able to discuss the cost of infrastructure projects, including the growing global debts, lack of transparency and corruption, not to mention the reality that Marcos was in office for over 20 years. It is also essential to discuss what Filipinos benefited the most from these initiatives, such as the ordinary Filipinos or their acolytes and the other Filipino elites? Without this scrutiny, it is possible to reinforce another Marcos myth: that this was a “Golden Age” despite the undisputed reality that the Philippine economy was in ruin in the early 1980s.

A second concern with Martial Law education is how it is analyzed, processed and praised. The most common method of teaching AP subjects is to require students to consider two perspectives of the topic by focusing on the “positive” characteristics and consequences and the “negative.” When applied to Martial Law, infrastructure development generally is recorded as positive human rights violations are negative. Students are typically challenged to weigh each positive or negative aspect of Martial Law and make their own decisions and assessments. Although this approach might be beneficial, one hopes that teachers analyze the event to help students evaluate this time in our nation’s history based on the values we share as a nation and the generally accepted norms. When done this way, students and teachers can answer with clarity the significance that was left behind by Martial Law.

However, “judging” is not something that educators would prefer to undertake, which I consider, to be one of the most challenging issues facing Martial Law education in the Philippines. As an educator, I’ve observed that many teachers hesitate or are unwilling to assess this time in the history of the Philippines, some because of personal bias, some because of fear or insecurity and others based on the false assumption of impartiality. It is a shame that the legacy left by Martial Law then is reduced to the realm of individual opinions, which is very dangerous in the time of post-factionalism. This belief will only benefit those who have authority in society, like Imelda Marcos, who made this bold claim in the documentary “The Kingmaker”: “Perception is reality, but the truth isn’t.”


Education in the age of Marcos Jr.

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As educators and academics confront the myriad of problems that plague Martial Law education today, they face a more significant problem with the election of Bongbong Marcos in the recent polls. Students, and concerned residents, are asking institutions and individuals to safeguard documents, books, and other documents related to Martial Law and Marcos’s crimes in the fear that they will be lost or unavailable after Marcos Jr. becomes President.

The concerns are valid at the very least. Bongbong Marcos and family members, such as Imee Marcos and their mother Imelda, have always maintained their family’s innocence despite the overwhelming evidence in support. Bongbong himself had once requested revisions to textbooks and claimed that the books were full of “lies” regarding Marcos’s family history. Marcos family. However, the Marcoses have yet to formalize their version of the past despite this. It’s a different story now, however. While before, they had to make it happen through other sources of information such as TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook. They now can make the deviant model of Martial Law and Marcos family historical facts that they have been preaching for a long time.

The Ferdinand family began the institutionalization under President Rodrigo Duterte, knowing full of the time the fact that the President was an all-time ally. The year 2016 was a good instance. The Official Gazette was heavily scrutinized for a post that was revised to mark the 99th birthday anniversary of Ferdinand Sr. The same year, Marcos Sr. was laid to rest at Libingan ng Mga Bayani – the national hero’s cemetery in Manila. Imagine what they can do with a solid power base when they’re in control. It’s also alarming that the presumed President announced plans to name his running mate and vice-president, presumptive Sara Duterte as education secretary just a few days after the election. Her selection was both alarming and disappointing, which is disappointing considering that education was never her main focus and alarming due to her close ties to the Marcoses.

An Appeal to Arms

Although winning the war against Marcos was a massive blow to teachers, it also served as an opportunity to raise the bar. More than ever, educators from all over the country need to reevaluate how Martial Law is taught and evaluated in their schools and even in public debate. Indeed, academics and the education sector generally grew complacent after the removal of Marcos in 1986 due to a variety of reasons. This was the case for me too. Although I would like to believe that the majority of us had taught Martial Law the best we could, I think that most of us did not know the magnitude of false information circulating in and outside of classrooms and its impact on the Filipino people.


Thus, the most urgent job for educators, academics and researchers are to increase efforts to counter the Marcoses historical distortion. All educators must combat misinformation everywhere, especially on social media, where Marcoses and their apologists have a head start. Marcoses and their apologists enjoy an advantage. To quote Winston Churchill, “We shall combat the Marcoses on TikTok. We will combat them in the textbooks. We will battle them with memorials and historical markers. We will never give up!”

As a result of the previous issue, academics and scholars must also be able to create an entire army of translators with the ability to translate quality content from academic journals and books for general consumption. Translators could be elementary educators who are well educated in pedagogy, influencers with a larger audience than academics, members from the faith-based community who are shocked by the disrespect for beliefs they hold dear and youth with the same values.

The academic community also needs to be vigilant about what the Marcos administration deals with in the commemoration and memory of Martial Law and related topics. Minor changes to the writing of official memorials, presidential addresses, historical markers, etc., must be scrutinized and, if necessary, resisted. This is vitally important as the Marcoses can institutionalize historical versions which fit their narrative.

The recent events ought to inspire historians, scholars and academics to participate in writing textbooks for primary education or perhaps collaborate with teachers of basic education to ensure accurate historical accuracy and solid pedagogy. It is essential to write more books that efficiently use primary sources and provide relevant information supporting claims that counter Marcos’s myths. It is also crucial to include stories that come from outside Luzon in which many Filipinos were victims of Martial Law.

Finally, scholars, academics, and educators need to impress Filipino citizens that this issue is essential to every Filipino and isn’t simply a struggle against one particular person or family, as Marcos and his apologists would like to assert. The battle against historical distortion is a declaration of our nation’s values and is enshrined in our Constitution. It’s a battle against attempts to erase what we stand for as human beings.


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How many children around the world receive an education of a high standard?




Research has shown that a lot of children, particularly in the world’s poorest regions, have very little knowledge in school.

In developed countries, around 9 percent of children cannot comprehend reading before they finish primary school. In poorer nations, this figure rises to 90 percent.

Inability to teach children adequate literacy skills can have a ripple effect throughout their lives and affect how the next generation will deal with future issues.

Tips on how to increase learning levels include: providing the correct level of instruction by providing teachers with planned lesson plans and telling people how great the benefits of higher education will be.


Introduction: What’s the issue?

Many children’s schools don’t live the promises they make. In many schools, children are taught very little.

This is a concern in countries with high incomes. At the end of primary school, 9 percent of the children of high-income countries are unable to be able to read.

However, it’s more prevalent in poorer nations. This is precisely what the graph below illustrates. The educational researcher Joao Pedro Azevedo and his colleagues believe that in the poorest countries around the globe, 90 percent of children aren’t proficient in reading as they approach the end of their primary school.

Many of these children eventually learn to read, but the issue of low learning continues to plague them as They are already behind at the time they reach primary school. The problem grows over time until many of them quit school with low education.

The same data shows that it doesn’t need to be as it is: in the most prosperous countries, the percentage of children who fail to be able to read with understanding at this age is lower than 2.2%.


Children should be taught to read to be able to read to learn. If we don’t give this opportunity to the future generation, they are left with fewer opportunities to live rich and exciting lives due to the opportunities that an education provides. They are also in a less favorable position to tackle future challenges.

What are the reasons for this massive problem? And what are we able to improve?

Learning doesn’t have to be a prerequisite for schooling to progress. We require data that can help us understand the difference.

The most apparent reason children do not learn is that they’re not attending or leaving school, as is the case for around 8% of all children. I’ve written about the issue before.

The problem is much more than that. A lot of children who aren’t learning attend school.

Research has shown that getting children in classes is just half of the task. Many education systems fail to ensure that the kids who attend school each day do their best to learn.


To do this, we need information. However, the statistics on international education haven’t yet caught up to this fact. They still focus on attendance at school. The most well-known index measurement of development – the United Nations’ Human Development Index – only measures children’s attendance. It doesn’t count the extent to which children are learning.

To be precise, it is essential to monitor the number of children attending school. Schools aren’t just about education; they are where kids socialize and offer safety and food. They also allow parents to be productive.

Statistics are needed to show the amount of education, the amount of time an individual student spends in school – and the educational quality.

One method to determine whether schools are living up to their word is to examine the scores of their tests. I believe the over-importance placed on tests in schools’ education is not a good idea. However, I think that the considerable differences in the scores of students the data reveal can reveal something significant about the world. This data gives us the chance to discover why certain schools are failing and what we can make them better.

The gap in the quality of education is a reflection of economic inequality. However, it does not need to be that way.


In recent times, various research teams have performed the tedious task of putting together the results of tests to generate global information on the learning results.

The one I count on was created by two researchers, Dev Patel and Justin Sandefur.

The bar graph, in the beginning, highlighted the vast variations in the learning outcomes of wealthy and less developed countries. The data from Patel and Sandefur show the differentiators between nations. Their data is also in line with the scores of literacy above with another essential skill in education: numeracy.

In the graphic below, I display the entire data they have on the mathematics test scores. To understand what this data reveals, look at the process step-by-step, beginning with one country, then many, and finally reach the global view.

The sloping line of the chart below illustrates the pattern of test scores in Brazil. It plots scores of students in mathematics along the vertical line and their families’ incomes in the horizontal direction.

It reveals the vast disparity in the distribution of incomes in Brazil and also demonstrates that the educational outcomes of Brazilian children reflect economic inequality. Students from wealthy families score higher than students from the poorest families.


The fact that the educational outcomes are linked to household income does not mean that it is the only important factor. It’s because revenue is in direct correlation with other essential elements, such as the level of education that parents receive.

However, it doesn’t mean that children from families with low incomes can’t be able to get a top education. The data displays the median across the income distribution and reveals that poor children are more likely to be in the minority.

Let’s add more countries to the chart.

In the middle of the following chart, we will see the results for Brazil However, this time, we can compare the results from six other countries.

This information shows that variations between countries are typically more significant than the differences between nations:

Students in Morocco perform worse than those who are the least fortunate in Brazil. The top students in Brazil are far worse off than those who are the least convenient in Finland, the Netherlands, Finland, or South Korea.


Another thing you can learn from this graph is that the countries that have had tremendous success, such as Finland, can almost wholly eliminate the problem of educational inequality across the income spectrum. The slope of the line shows how different the outcomes for learning in a specific country are: a vertical line indicates a significant gap between the wealthiest and the poorest children in terms of the quality of their education, whereas the less steep line is similar to the one for Finland shows that children from all families do identical very well.

Let’s add information for the remaining countries where information is readily available.

In most countries, the lines tend to slope upwards. Students from families with higher incomes are more successful in maths. Patel and Sandefur have documented that the differences between countries in the learning outcomes are especially significant in countries with the highest levels of economic inequality. Brazil is among them.

Since test scores are an abstract measure, it isn’t easy to comprehend how vast the differences between nations are. It is difficult for people to understand the test score of 38 (the score for the highest-income kids from Cote d’Ivoire) or 545 (the score of the lowest-income kids from the UK). The UK).

One way to make the 165 points difference easier to comprehend is to examine them against the differences between nations. The gap in tests between the US’s wealthiest and poorest pupils is 53 points. This suggests that the disparities between countries are more than the differences between nations, even in a highly unbalanced country such as the US.

This is among the significant conclusions drawn that can be gleaned from this study. The variations between nations are enormous.


Students with the same household income are more likely to be more successful in their education when they live in a more wealthy country.

There’s a third key result of this research that deserves to be highlighted the average income of the nation is more crucial to a student’s education than the income of a particular family that lives in the country.

Look at the results of tests taken by the most disadvantaged students from Korea or Finland for these shocking results. The most underprivileged Korean and Finnish students are less fortunate than those who study in Brazil; however, their math score is better.

Compare those scores with students with families earning annual earnings of up to $5,000. There is a wide range of scores from as low as 350 points in the poorer nations up to 600 points.

Let’s look at the implications of this.

For some of the wealthiest countries, such as Finland, education is an excellent equalizer as it offers each child the chance to succeed, regardless of their background in the family.


However, in many places and, more importantly, when looking at the world from a global perspective, these educational disparities are increasing inequality levels. Children from higher-income backgrounds are more likely to study more extensively and become more productive and skilled and create their own countries and better off in the process.

If we are to end the perpetuation of inequality through education, we must improve the quality of education available to hundreds of millions of kids. The countries that have the most successful show that it’s doable.

Can we make strides and offer a better education?

Now that we know the nature of the issue, let’s look at what we can do to better educate all children around the globe.

The reality that every day, millions of kids go to schools where they learn the basics is a significant issue. I’m sure you are feeling down when you think about ways we can get over this.

However, I think it’s possible to progress. Let me tell you why.

As with all of the series on ‘The world’s biggest problems in a straightforward manner, I’m not going to pretend that I can provide the exact method of the way forward. Particularly in the area of education, it all is dependent on the local context. However, I would like to provide reasons why I am convinced that it is possible to make a change.


Change is possible because we’ve already done it.

The majority of children around the world receive an inadequate education. In the past, nearly every child received a lousy education.

Change is possible since it has already occurred. If we look at schools where kids now receive an excellent education, it is evident that nearly all of them were illiterate before recently.

Basic abilities – such as writing and reading, were available only to a few elites. This chart is a compilation of the estimates of literacy for basic levels across the globe to illustrate how the situation has changed.

It’s not just improving in the acquisition of fundamental techniques. The fact that most children aren’t learning much is often called the “learning crisis’. However, I believe this is a false description. The term “crisis” implies that we’re experiencing a dramatic period, more severe than the one previously. But that’s not the case. The quality of education was lower during the previous years. In most countries, children are now learning more than they did in the past, and the world is making strides.

The shift we are witnessing is clear that there are paths ahead.

Living standards matter. Poor education is more than simply poor education.


It’s not just schools that determine how children learn. Children struggle with learning due to low nutrition, poverty, and poor health.

What we’ve observed above that children from the most prosperous countries as well as those with wealthy families perform better in school is because of the different living conditions in general.

It’s also the case that the advancement in education that nations enabled by their more significant development. In the graph above, Singapore is at the highest in the global comparison. One hundred years ago, the third of the children in Singapore were killed, and the nation was a country with a per capita GDP of just $3000. Without the significant improvements made in the growth and health of children, the government would not have been able to achieve this.

More health, more affordable, less poverty, and a healthier diet are often more beneficial to an education of a child than the most skilled teacher. This is why advancing against poverty and poor health of children and malnutrition is crucial to improving educational opportunities for the coming generation. The reality that we are progressing in tackling these issues is a significant reason I am hopeful about the direction of education shortly.

Even in the most impoverished regions of the globe, children can learn extremely well, yet without significant economic growth, it is still unaffordable.


The evidence presented to date may convince you that improvements are possible, But you could be skeptical about what advancements are attainable. What needs to be done to ensure quality education in these schools where kids learn minimally in the present?

Numerous studies attempt to answer this question.

The country that has the most deprived education is the country of Guinea-Bissau. A study conducted in the rural regions of the tiny country in West Africa found that most children don’t learn to read or write. They don’t get it from their parents. Grasp the concept; less than three percent of mothers could pass a literacy test. The study concluded that a lack of quality in education was low due to “teachers being isolated, underequipped, receive salaries after long delays, and have little training.”

A recent study conducted by Ila Fazzio as well as her team established the objective to determine what could be accomplished when these limitations are removed.

Researchers visited the most challenging areas within the country – areas with the lowest education levels. They worked with the locals there to establish basic primary schools.

The study’s schools provided teachers with training and provided them with scripted classes, checked on the children and teachers regularly and also engaged the villages, and provided sufficient resources to help with all activities. They conducted a random controlled trial to determine if these well-funded schools had a positive effect. They assessed the level of education the pupils were taught in the schools of the study against children in the control group that attended schools that continued to provide their curriculum as they had before.


After four years, they compared the children’s learning levels in the schools of the study.

In the group that was not controlled, the results were inferior to the control group: after four years, just 0.09 percent of children were proficient in reading. The learning rate for children who attended the study’s schools was significantly higher, as 64% had learned to read.

The graph below displays the test results overall that also consider the kids’ numeracy capabilities. Overall scores rose dramatically by 59 percentage points.

Studies have shown the possibility of seeing considerable improvements in places where children are otherwise nonliterate and innumerate.

In the most challenging locations – extreme poverty, deficient levels of education for parents, nearly none of the infrastructure (no internet or electricity, and there aren’t any roads) It is still possible to teach children in primary schools to read fluently and perform basic math well.

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Students Deepen Access to Civics Education In Hard-Fought Legal Battle.




The Rhode Island lawsuit that has been extensively scrutinized because of its potential impact on civic education is settled, preventing an escalation to Supreme Court U.S. Supreme Court, and creating the foundation for a new system that will guide instruction in civics within the state. Attorneys and officials from the state announced on Wednesday.

The settlement agreement in Cook v. McKee means that the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear it as the plaintiffs had anticipated. Instead, on Sept. 1st, it is expected that the Rhode Island Department of education will form a new task force to shape the state’s approach to civic education. The group of 15 includes students from the class who were defendants in the suit, family members, teachers, and representatives from advocacy organizations, as well as the department of education in the state.

The state is also planning to establish a “seal of civic readiness” diploma for high school seniors who excel in civics. They will also complete the capstone project, which will combine research and civic engagement. (At a minimum, five other states have similar diploma seals to civics.) Additionally, the state plans to establish an award program for new students that local districts can utilize to honor middle school students who have made progress concerning “civic readiness.”

In a press conference, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angelica Infante Green addressed students who had been plaintiffs in the lawsuit. She declared: “It takes a lot of courage to stand up and advocate for your peers.”


Due to their “tenacity and bravery,” she stated, “we now have an agreement that will strengthen civics education across the state of Rhode Island.”

The agreement is a step amid a turbulent landscape for the curriculum and teaching. In recent years, several states have passed laws limiting what teachers can talk about issues like gender and race, which frequently intersect with history, civics, and education.

The case was filed in Providence in the year 2018. The class action was one of the rare cases that sought to establish a right to education under the U.S. Constitution. In this instance, lawyers tried to develop the students’ rights to the fundamental tools and knowledge required to participate in a democratic system.

The plaintiffs argued they were, among other things, they claimed that Rhode Island didn’t require students to finish the civics or history courses or pass any examinations in these subjects and did not offer enough opportunities to participate in civics activities outside of school. They also claimed that the curriculum for civics was inadequate for those who are English-speaking, limiting their chances of being actively engaged in their new home.

Michael Rebell, who led the plaintiffs’ lawsuit as the executive director at the Center for Educational Equity and Professor of Law and Educational Practice at Teachers College, Columbia University situated in New York, said Wednesday that even though the suit failed to establish the legal right in the U.S. Constitution, it has raised awareness of the importance of quality civic education and created a system to bring about changes within Rhode Island.


“The point is not so much the lawsuit,” he told reporters during his news conference. “The problem is. This is what we’re trying to communicate.”

A new route is to be considered for the constitutional fight

Rebell said in Education Week that he plans to investigate the issue in state courts since thirty states in the United States have recognized the right to education in their constitutions or court decisions.

“State constitutions are much more fertile ground for this,” he explained. “In federal court, it’s an uphill battle because you’re trying to establish a new right.”

The case was a shambles at both the appeals court and the trial levels.

The U.S. District Court judge in Rhode Island dismissed the case in October 2020, finding that the existing law and precedent did not permit an order in the plaintiffs’ favor. However, the judge William Smith wrote that the case was “a cry for help from a generation of young people who are destined to inherit a country which we–the generation currently in charge–are not stewarding well.”

In January this year, a unanimous three-judge panel from the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Smith’s decision. Like Smith, the judges backed the students’ objectives; however, they said that the arguments they made were not supported according to the law.


“The students have called attention to critical issues of declining civic engagement and inadequate preparation for participation in civic life at a time when many are concerned about the future of American democracy,” the panel noted. “Nevertheless, the weight of precedent stands in the students’ way here, and they have not stated any viable claim for relief.”

A checklist of things to do for the new task force on civics

While those rulings went against plaintiffs, Rebell declared that they were valuable as they helped create a “context” that can be “a motivator, inspiration, and resource going forward, not only in Rhode Island but other parts of the country.”

The representatives from both sides of this dispute announced the main principle of the settlement on Wednesday that will resolve the dispute. However, the agreement hasn’t been presented to a court to get their approval.

The task force has a range of options to look at, including adding an hour-long course for high and middle school, which would concentrate on media literacy. The task force will look at practical ways to assist students in having civil conversations about controversial issues with people who have opinions different from their personal beliefs.

The panel will also develop an understanding that defines “civic readiness” that will include civic-related knowledge, skills, experience, and attitudes. The conference will assist in implementing the state law adopted in September, making civic education an essential requirement for graduation and requiring schools to include a student-led civics initiative in high or middle school.


Derek W. Black, a professor with a specialization in the field of education law from the University of South Carolina, believes that the new Rhode Island task force can be a significant part of continuing the national discussion regarding the civic skills and knowledge that students require to contribute to their democratic society.

“We need to have conversations that heighten public awareness,” the president said. “If the task force wants to discuss what it means to be a citizen and engage legislators as well as communities in this discussion, I’m in favor of it. We’ve been avoiding these discussions. We hope the task force will assist us in gaining access to these conversations.”

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My schooling for girls was not enough to equip me with the knowledge I am now most grateful for.




I attended an all-girls private school until when I was five. When I took my violin lessons, I looked at the pictures of two Miss Singletons, tightly stitched into their Victorian gowns, and gazed at me with admiring awe.

The Singleton sisters were the co-principal of my colleagues in the latter part of the 19th century. They determined to provide girls with an adequate education.

I found them highly inspirational. Still do.

My all-girls schooling failed to provide me with the abilities I value the most. I needed to acquire these abilities from the outside.


I agree with anyone who believes that an all-girl school is the best option for their child. However, I’m not convinced by the idea that this education model is the way our future female leaders stand the best chance of success.

As my two sons approached high school age, I decided to send them to coed schools, as I believed that it was the most effective way to learn to respect women with respect and equality.

I went to an all-girls’ school from the age of five.

Strangely, I would like my daughter to attend an all-girls school just as I did so that she could have the “opportunities” to “fulfill the potential her” and become a “leader.” These are the words and phrases all-girls schools frequently employ in their advertising.

But, I began to notice that many of my educated, accomplished female acquaintances were opting to send their daughters into coed institutions. One of them said bluntly: “The world is not solely sex. They’ll be working alongside men throughout their life.”

I began to question the rationale that girls should be kept away from males to acquire the capabilities needed to collaborate in the future.

One of the most fundamental assumptions regarding girls’ education for all girls is that boys can be a barrier to girls achieving their potential. They’re “other.” Their presence takes something from a girl. She may not feel secure enough to flourish when they are around.


It was certainly the message I listened to throughout my period at an all-girls school. I receive the same message from parents to this day.

Now, I am aware that these assumptions do not just further enshrine gender roles that are no longer relevant but show a sexist distrust of the capacity and strength of our girls and the humanity of our boys.

Regularly that is shared with boys, the boys at a coed school are exposed to the fact that girls are confident, competent, and courageous, as well as deeply human. They can experience an female perspective when they discuss the issues. They collaborate on projects. Girls see them doing well and leading, and that is perfectly normal.

I started to notice that most of my highly educated, successful female friends were choosing to send their girls to co-ed schools.

The notion that girls should be separated from the community and constantly taught methods of how they will be able to cope when they find themselves thrust back into the world appears to be a back-to-front way to prepare girls to lead. The development of women’s leadership skills shouldn’t be solely the role of women. The entire members of society should contribute.

My daughter is now living with another language that was not available to me when I was a teenager to express female strength, solidarity, self-worth, and possibility. The world she’s experienced is very different from mine as a young person.

While some may overlook the powerful effect of a Taylor Swift lyric or watching The Simpsons episode “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacey,” those experiences in the world of culture have done as much to help her master the language of her choice as any explicit instruction from her school or parents.


I decided to send all three of my children to the high school in town. My daughter is now 15. What did she miss out in attending coed schools? Her school, like many others, had a few inadequate facilities, inconsistency in teaching because of the staff room being under tremendous pressure, and funding issues.

What has she learned? These skills took a long time for me to master. Soaring confidence in her ability to communicate with anyone and manage herself in any circumstance. A capacity to experiment with new ways, make fun of herself and find it hilarious instead of humiliating. An absolute disregard for her “otherness” males. She shares her life with them each day. They are her best friends and co-workers.

Today I inquired if they had ever felt any of the school’s discrimination because she was a girl. Did boys rule? Have you ever felt compelled to “play in the small” due to fear of what boys might say about her? Do you think that the boys were preventing her from fulfilling her potential?

I got the same expression of astonishment as she did when I wanted to know more about TikTok. “Never,” she said. It’s rude to say, “OK, Boomer,” but I’m pretty sure she was thinking.

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