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Souter to Speak on Civic Education

Recently retired Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter will address the American Bar Association on Saturday about improving civic education in the United States.

Souter, who retired in June after 19 years on the high court, has mentioned in at least one other public address in recent months that he would be getting involved in the civic education effort, aimed both at his native New Hampshire and the nation.

The Associated Press reports here that Souter's interest was prompted in part by the work of the New Hampshire Supreme Court Society, which formed a task force last year to assess the state of civics education in New Hampshire schools.

Souter addresses the opening assembly of the ABA's annual meeting in Chicago on Saturday. On Monday and Tuesday, the ABA's House of Delegates will consider a resolution that urges policymakers to establish an "office of civic education" in the U.S. Department of Education.

The resolution also urges that the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in civics and U.S. history be conducted every four years, with results reported at the state and national levels. Currently, those subjects are assessed only periodically and the results are not reported at the state level. (The ABA resolution No. 122, at page 128 of this big PDF document.)

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