By Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Interview in Principal Leadership magazine

October 2011

Type: Interview, Newspaper article
Source: Principal Leadership, October 2011

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Article Text

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Concerned about the declining emphasis on civics in schools, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day C'Connor launched iCivics, a web-based education project for students and teachers. Editor's note: For more information about iCivics, visit www.iCivicsorg. Sandra Day O'Connor, retired Supreme Court Justice, the first woman appointed to the courtand videogame designer? But yes. Justice O'Connor is the driving force behind iCivics, a nonprofit organization designed to increase students' knowledge of civics through interactive i computer games that focus on history, laws, and government. "When I retired from the Supreme Court," she explained, "I noticed ' that the attacks directed at our judicial system were broader and more vitriolic than any I had heard in my lifetime. It seemed to me that many of these attacks stemmed fi"om a basic misunderstanding of the role the judicial branch plays in our government. When I took a closer look at the problem, I saw that it wasn't just the courts that our citizens misunderstood. Only one-third of Americans can name the three branches of government, much less say what they do. The decline of civic education has left our nation ignorant of the role of government as a whole. " And she's not the only one who is concerned about this gap in students' education. Results from the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show that although the average score in civics for 4th graders has increased since 1998, scores at the 8th-grade

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