As part of the effort to overhaul it's evaluation of public schools, the New York State Department of Education (SED) recently released a draft list of guiding principals. These are measures New York education officials believe should be used to determine whether a school is successful or "highly effective."
We were thrilled to see that SED included positive civic engagement as one of it's measures of success. According to the draft, a student is ready to graduate when - among other academic, social, and emotional measures - he or she is "ready for positive civic engagement." To help students reach their "full potential," an effective school will develop partnerships that support civic responsibility.
We have seen firsthand the tremendous impact of service learning on students and we applaud the SED's decision to encourage all schools to make service an integral part of their mission.