Four ACSA leaders serving on new civics education task force

Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David Gordon is leading a statewide task force on K-12 civic education that includes three other ACSA leaders in a broad representation of stakeholders.

Gordon is co-chairing the California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning with Judith McConnell, administrative presiding justice for the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal. The task force includes members of the public, civic education experts, and representatives of education coalition groups. For more information, visit

Other ACSA leaders on the task force include:

• Michelle Herczog, former Region 14 VPLA and history-social science consultant with the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Herczog authored a touted publication, “Preparing Students for College, Career and Citizenship,” which guides the LACOE alignment of civic education and the CCSS.

• Former ACSA President Alice Petrossian, retired chief academic officer in Pasadena USD, who made the call for civic education a mission of her presidency.

• Former LACOE Superintendent Darline Robles, who is now a leader in the California Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools.

The task force was prompted by the increasing awareness of educators, policymakers, the labor and business community, and the general public that the state’s educational mission must include a focus on preparing students to become responsible, actively engaged citizens in a democratic society. To achieve this goal, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson joined to establish the task force charged with preparing a Civic Learning Blueprint.

The California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning began its work in July to bring definition to the skills, knowledge and dispositions students need to be informed and involved citizens and community members. It will share recommendations and seek public input at meetings throughout the state and online before preparing the blueprint that will inform action by the chief justice, SPI, State Board of Education, and chairs of the Senate and Assembly education committees.

The task force is expected to have draft recommendations by January 2014, with regional input meetings in January and February. A draft Civic Learning Blueprint is expected to be ready by summer 2014.

The blueprint will address four key areas: curriculum, instructional practices and resources; professional learning; community and business partnerships; and student assessment and school accountability.