Our nation is in a civic education crisis. Most American adults would fail the U.S. citizenship exam, and a third cannot name even one of the three branches of our government. Lack of civic understanding is a recipe for polarization, demonization, and tyranny.
The great American Experiment is based on equal protection under the rule of law, separation of powers, federalism, checks and balances, and, most fundamentally, protection of natural rights.
Philanthropists can have a major impact on civic education and the course of our nation by building on successful K-12 strategies, restoring civics to the college curriculum, and filling major gaps in civic understanding among adults. Reforming teacher education and studying the long-term retention of civic knowledge also are key to success. The Civic Education Program at The Philanthropy Roundtable has assembled this list of high-impact organizations working on such initiatives.