Civics program wins superintendent’s vote

December 14, 2007
By

DAVID TABER

Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Carol Johnson confirmed in a Gazette interview that BPS is committed to working with Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) youth organizers to develop a civics curriculum.

The youth organizers, along with other individuals and organizations throughout Boston, have been campaigning for over a year for the inclusion of a mandatory upper-level civics curriculum in BPS’s core graduation requirements.

Late last month, HSTF staffer Mark Pedulla said BPS officials had agreed to develop a pilot curriculum.

BPS is committed to hiring a curriculum developer to work with the youth organizers, Johnson said.

But, she said, “I don’t know if we are going to do a course.” Instead, they may embed the curriculum within an existing class that may focus on participation rates of voters in democracies around the world, she said.

“The last election in Boston demonstrated that people need encouragement [in] seeing themselves as active participants in the process,” she said.

Johnson said if youth organizers are successful “and we see a substantial increase in the number of people participating in the election process, if you think about it, it could be consequential for years to come.”