Southern California Program

Constitutional Rights Foundation

Los Angeles, CA
December 2017

Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) is a non-partisan, community-based organization dedicated to educating young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society.  One of the greatest challenges teachers face in implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is making the necessary shifts in their instructional practice to facilitate effective academic discussions about complex texts and issues that will build students’ critical thinking skills.  Facilitating these discussions is proving difficult due in part to a lack of quality materials that are tightly aligned to the Common Core.  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will provide the support needed for CRF to update and digitize The Challenge Series, a social studies curriculum originally developed with funding from the Keck Foundation, that covers the challenges of diversity, governance, violence and information.  These topics remain highly relevant today.  CRF staff and its teacher leaders will update and align the readings, student discussion questions and teacher guides to the CCSS and test and refine them through a network of 300 teachers trained by the teacher leaders.  The new Challenge Series will be prominently displayed on dedicated pages on CRF’s website and disseminated through topical e-blasts, posts on other education-related websites and conference presentations.  CRF will track the number of Challenge Series downloads and webinar attendees and will survey teachers about the quality and their usage of the lessons.  By the end of the grant period, CRF expects that at least 5,000 teachers beyond those trained directly by its teacher leaders will be exposed to the Challenge Series through these dissemination methods.

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