Vermont report that shows today’s youth more engaged because of civics education efforts

first_imgVermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz has returned from the National Civics Summit in Minneapolis where she addressed national leaders in civics education and secretaries of state from around the country.  Markowitz released a report titled The Impact of Civics Education on the Attitudes, Behaviors and Disposition of Youth. The report analyzes the effect of mock election programs on young people s attitudes about government, politics and their own ability to be engaged and active citizens.Markowitz said, The report shows that the newest generation of Vermont adults will be more active and engaged than the ones before it. It also affirms the value of civic education programs and, in particular, mock election programs that teach kids the importance of voting.In 2007 the Secretary of State s Office undertook a study of Vermont students to assess the impact of the Vermont Votes for Kids mock election program on civic attitudes, behaviors and dispositions.  With the assistance of the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, the entire senior class of 2007 was surveyed.  Students answered questions about their participation in mock election programs during their school career and how they intend to participate in the democratic process in the future.  Students who were exposed to mock election programs were significantly more likely to say they are better informed about politics, understand the issues facing our country, and will vote in the future.  Students who accompanied a parent to the polling place scored even higher, confirming the belief that parental involvement is a key factor in shaping civic attitudes. These findings demonstrate the value of investing in civics education programs like Vermont Votes for Kids, said Markowitz.  When we teach young people the mechanics and value of voting, and provide them opportunities to develop and practice the skills necessary to be engaged citizens, we see results.Markowitz continued, It is our hope that the findings of the VSAC survey and this report will encourage educators, government officials, and opinion leaders to see the importance of civics education so that in future years every Vermont student is given an opportunity to participate in a civics education and mock election program.A copy of the report is available by calling 802-828-2148 or by visiting the Secretary of State s website at www.sec.state.vt.us/Mock_Election_Report.pdf(link is external).The Impact of Civics Education on the Attitudes, Behaviors and Disposition of YouthKey Facts and FindingsVermont s Mock Election Program.Vermont s first statewide mock election program was developed in 1999 by the Secretary of State s Office.  The program is currently called Vermont Votes for Kids.Vermont s mock election programs are voluntary.  Schools can choose to participate but are not required to do so.Mock election programs are offered every two years around the time of the general election and include classroom activities, curricular materials and a mock election that is held on or before Election Day.The VSAC survey showed that 72 percent of the seniors remembered participating in at least one mock election over the course of their school careers.Correlation Between Participation in a Mock Election Program and Civic Skills, Knowledge and Disposition.A. The key finding of the VSAC survey is that there is a strong correlation between students participation in a mock election program and their positive feelings about their civic skills, knowledge and dispositions. Students who participated in more than one mock election were 68 percent more likely than students who did not participate in a mock election to agree with the statement when political issues are discussed I have something to say.These students were also 84 percent more likely than non-participants to agree with the statement I am better informed about politics than most students.Students who participated in multiple mock elections were 62 percent more likely than non-participants to agree with the statement my education has helped me to understand the political issues facing the country. B. Students who participated in mock election programs reported greater civic knowledge and skills than their counterparts who did not experience a mock election program.Students who participated in mock elections were 78 percent more likely to say that they had learned how to research candidates for political office than those who had not participated in a mock election program.Students who participated in mock elections were 65 percent more likely to say that they had learned how to examine social problems than those who had not participated in a mock election program.Students who participated in mock elections were 59 percent more likely to agree with the statement I learned how our elections work than those who did not participate in a mock election program.  C.  Students who experienced more than one mock election reported a better understanding of how to solve problems in their communities than their non-participating counterparts.These students were 55 percent more likely to report that they had learned ways of addressing community problems than students who had never experience a mock election.These students were 77 percent more likely to say that they had learned how political action groups can solve problems than students who had never experience a mock election.These students were 61 percent more likely than non-participants to agree that they had learned about individuals responsibility to community.D. Students who experienced more than one mock election reported at a higher rate than students who did not participate in a mock election that they would vote in a state or presidential election.The vast majority of students reported that they would vote in the presidential election.  However, of those students who participated in at least one mock election, 96 percent reported that they planned to vote for president, while only 78 percent of those students who did not participate in a mock election reported that they would do so.Seventy percent of the kids who did not participate in a mock election reported that they planned to vote in a state election, while more than 90 percent of those who participated in at least one mock election reported that they would do so.last_img read more

Gillibrand Backs Federal Medical Marijuana Bill

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York In an unlikely threesome, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced a historic bill in the U.S. Senate Tuesday that would essentially end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana use.Called the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act (aka CARERS), the legislation would let states legalize marijuana for medical purposes without federal interference and permit interstate commerce in cannabidiol oils known as CBD which are non-psychotropic components of medical marijuana.Just as important from the research perspective, the act would reclassify marijuana from Schedule 1, the most severely limiting classification under the federal Controlled Substances Act, to Schedule 2, which would enable further scientific and medical study without the onerous restrictions currently imposed although it still would recognize marijuana’s “high potential for abuse.”For veterans, the bill would allow physicians at the Veterans Administration to prescribe marijuana treatment. Banks would be able to provide checking accounts and other financial services to marijuana dispensaries.“Federal laws don’t allow any medical use of marijuana even in states where it’s legal,” said Sen. Gillibrand Wednesday from her Senate office in Washington, D.C. “It’s clearly a case of ideology getting in the way of scientific progress. Government should not prevent doctors from prescribing medicine that has been shown to work.”Asked about her bill’s unusual joint partnership that connects the liberal wing of the Democratic Party to the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, Gillibrand said, “Each senator comes at every issue independently. I think Senator Rand Paul is a doctor so he understands how this medicine is used in treatment quite well. Senator Booker cares passionately about the families in his state who are experiencing problems because they can’t get access to the medicine they need,” she added. “I think it’s common sense and I think we will prevail.”“This legislation is a game-changer,” said Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance in New York. “It is worth noting that Senators with a national profile are championing this issue. Ending the war on medical marijuana is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.”Currently, 23 states plus the District of Columbia have passed laws that legalize and regulate marijuana for medicinal purposes. Twelve states have laws already on the books or about to be signed into law by their governors regulating CBD oils, which some parents have been using to treat their children’s seizures. New York State’s law, passed last year, won’t take effect for 18 months. Meanwhile, marijuana is legal for non-medical use in four states as well as in D.C.A long-time champion of marijuana law reform in New York, Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried finally made headway last year when his CARE Act was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He hailed the Senate bill as “an important step.”“It would help us implement our medical marijuana law, by reducing doubts about what the federal government will or won’t allow,” Gottfried told the Press, adding that reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule 2 drug would mean recognizing its medical value.“If New York then adopted the same change – and we always keep our schedules in line with the federal – then medical marijuana would be available on the same basis as morphine, hydrocodone, and many other drugs,” he said. “It makes no sense that New York’s medical marijuana law is now much more restrictive than the laws governing drugs that are so much more dangerous.”last_img read more

UK roundup: PPF 7800 index, Barclays DC consultancy

first_imgThe funding level of defined benefit (DB) pension plans in the UK has risen to nearly 94%, after the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) updated the data used to calculate deficits across the system.According to the PPF 7800 index for the end of October, the aggregate deficit fell to nearly £75bn (€90bn), down £9.4bn over readjusted figures for September.The index’s methodology was reassessed following the publication of the 2013 Purple Book earlier this month, resulting in the funding ratio for September being revised upwards by 2.2 percentage points to 92.9%, after the aggregate deficit fell by nearly £30bn.For the end of October, the funding level across the 6,150 pension funds – down by 166 on the previous dataset – reported a funding level of 93.8%, a significant improvement over the 83% reported for the same period last year. The PPF added that assets within the index now amounted to £1.1trn.“Over the month, scheme assets rose by 2.3%, and, over the year, there was an increase of 8.3%,” it said.It added that, while liabilities increased compared with the end of September, they fell by 4% year on year.In other news, Barclays has launched a defined contribution (DC) investment consultancy to complement a corporate pensions platform launched earlier this year.The service, provided by Barclays Corporate & Employer Solutions (BCES), will help trustees “create an investment solution that takes account of different and changing member needs”, according to a statement.The approach will enable investment in a number of pre-selected default strategies, while BCES will also profile the company’s workforce to assess the investment risk suitable for each workforce.Katharine Photiou, head of workplace savings at BCES, said: “Traditional retirement planning and DC investment strategies do not do enough to take account of an individual’s needs, or adapt to changing market conditions.”last_img read more

IAAF World Championship: Nigeria’s Oduduru pulls out of 100m

first_imgRelatedPosts Oduduru joins the growing list of athletes Visa is supporting for Tokyo 2020 Dare promises to pay outstanding athletes allowances, AFN hails him                     AFN: Shehu-Gusau vows to unravel corrupt practices Nigeria’s medal hopeful, Divine Oduduru, has pulled out of the 100 metres dash at the ongoing IAAF World Championship in Doha.The athlete, according to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Twitter handle: @NGAathletix, withdrew due to weather conditions in Doha.“Divine Oduduru has pulled out of the 100m as he has chosen to focus on the 200m instead because of the dry/hot weather conditions in Doha,” @NGAathletix tweeted.Check revealed that Oduduru’s stellar NCAA season projected him as one of the best sprinters in the world.This year, he became the first Nigerian sprinter to break the sub-10 seconds barrier in over a decade, before going to run a personal best of 19.73 seconds.Oduduru, who is making his debut outing at the World Championship in Doha, is hoping for a medal against the best runners in the world.Oduduru is the country’s best prospect for podium placement. Despite the fact that Oduduru was beaten to the gold medal of the last African Games by compatriot Raymond Ekevwo in Rabat, Morocco last month, the American NCAA sprint double champion is the second fastest man in the field in Doha.The 22-year-old Nigerian, who has produced a season very similar to Christian Coleman’s 2017 campaign, has some mouth-watering pair of sub-10 performances early on in the year.Oduduru won the NCAA 100m title in 9.86 and doubled back to take the 200m crown in a blazing 19.73.However, his follow up performances since taking to the pro circuit have provided mixed results. Oduduru’s 10.26 run in Paris in his pro debut and the more recent 20.54 to take the 200m event at the African Games have created some kind of mixed feelings in the minds of Nigerians and other track aficionados dreaming of seeing the Delta State born sprinter ascend the podium to signify Nigeria’s return to the top again in the men’s sprint culture.The 100metres gold is open for the likes of Yohan Blake, Christian Coleman, Akani Simbine, Zharnel Hughes, Canada’s Aaron Brown and Rio triple medallist Andre de Grasse and the most experienced sprinter in the field who is defending champion, Justin Gatlin.Gatlin’s victory in London came 12 years after his first. He’s gone under 10 seconds four times this season, capped by a 9.87 performance in Stanford in late June, but clocked just 10.29 in his most recent race in Zagreb three weeks ago where he was hit my a minor hamstring injury.Tags: Athletics Federation of NigeriaDivine OduduruIAAF World Athletic Championshipslast_img read more