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"Civic education must teach students the full American story — the good and the bad, the written and the unwritten," writes Eliza Newlin Carney.

Everyone wants civic education; the rub comes in deciding what that means

Carney is a journalist and founder of The Civic Circle, a civic education nonprofit.

The movement to expand civic education has swept into state legislatures across the country, and that's both good news and bad news for civics advocates.

On the plus side, civic education mandates have brought together politicians and policy experts on both sides of the aisle. Several states, including Illinois and Massachusetts, have imposed broad new civics graduation requirements, while legislatures across the country are mulling more than 80 bills to bolster civic education.

But the civics craze has also exposed deep and lingering rifts over how to tell the American story — and just what it is that students should learn.

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Big Picture
Sara Swann/The Fulcrum

Congress and tech companies need to act fast (a decided long shot) to protect the 2020 election's integrity, Sen. Mark Warner told the conference.

Ample fear, zero silver bullets at campaign disinformation conference

The spread of disinformation online promises to be one of the biggest threats to American democracy during the 2020 election and beyond, if no action is taken. But efforts to defend against these falsehoods remains hamstrung by partisanship.

Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub called disinformation "a fundamental assault on democracy" during a digital disinformation symposium this week at FEC headquarters in Washington.

Weintraub, along with PEN America and the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University, invited politicians, government officials, tech companies, academics and media representatives to the symposium to discuss disinformation and how to combat it. There were no ready answers.

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Government Ethics

A new report from the Coalition for Integrity scored states based on the transparency of their ethics enforcement.

Report: Few states shine in their transparency of ethics enforcement

Only a handful of states earned high marks in a new report analyzing the enforcement power and transparency of state ethics agencies.

The researchers behind "Enforcement of Ethics Rules by State Agencies" surveyed 2018 enforcement statistics for every state ethics agency and scored states by how well those agencies made their actions publicly available. The study was released last week by the nonprofit Coalition for Integrity, which works to combat corruption in both governments and business.

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A Florida legislator wants the state to count convicts as residents at their home addresses, not their prisons.

Florida joins debate over where to count prisoners when drawing district lines

Florida would become the seventh state to end so-called prison gerrymandering under legislation one state senator has promised to push hard next year.

The bill by Democrat Randolph Bracy, who represents the Orlando suburbs, would require the mapmakers who draw General Assembly districts to count prisoners as residents at their home addresses, instead of in the mostly rural areas where most of the state's penitentiaries are located. That current approach, Bracy argues, inflates the population of those rural areas at the expense of the big cities where most of the incarcerated come from.

The change would likely mean extra seats for the Orlando, Tampa and Miami metropolitan areas.

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