What We’re Reading

June 27, 2017

Every few weeks, GC picks out a selection of articles that are relevant to our work and to the civics education space as a whole. We at GC love to expand our learning in every aspect of what we do, and we hope you enjoy our selections!

Youth turnout at UK general election highest in 25 years, data show. Financial Times.
The recent UK general election saw the highest turnout among young voters since 1992. About 64 percent of registered voters aged 18-24 voted this June, putting that group more in line with the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups that usually outperform the youngest voters in turnout numbers. Voters over 55 still participate in the strongest numbers, but this election is a hopeful indication that youth voting is on the rise.

We’re Not in a Civil War, but We Are Drifting Toward Divorce. National Review.
Columnist David French discusses the dual trends of increasing political polarization and “sorting” (surrounding ourselves with like-minded people), and possibilities for tolerance in an age of profound differences between states and regions of the country.

Lawmakers cite need for better civics lessons. The Salem News.
A recent hearing at the Massachusetts State House highlighted many proposals for strengthening civics education in the state, including a bill filed by filed by Rep. Linda Campbell, and Sen. Harriette Chandler, and supported by Generation Citizen, that would require schools to incorporate student-led civics projects into their social studies curricula.  

These students fought SB4 — and now they’re getting ready for what comes next. MTV News.
This piece profiles Texas students who advocated against the state’s new law banning sanctuary cities, including a class of Generation Citizen students who took on the issue for their action project this spring.

How Tinder Could Take Back the White House. New York Times.
In this op-ed, activists from the UK described how they programmed a “Tinder bot” to help young people initiate conversations with peers to encourage them to vote for specific candidates in contested regions. The authors speculate that political conversations on Tinder can be more effective than traditional canvassing or phone banking because of the its informal, and intimate nature: “Talking politics on Tinder works because your matches are waiting for you to say something personal to them. And they are willing to listen.”

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