The Civics Education Initiative is a simple concept. It requires high school students, as a condition for graduation, to pass a test on 100 basic facts of U.S. history and civics, from the United States Citizenship Civics Test – the test all new US citizens must pass. The initiative, supported nationally by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, among others, seeks to pass legislation in all fifty states by 2017 (the 100th anniversary of the constitution’s signing) ensuring that high school students be required to pass the test.
Synergetic Endeavors served as the primary national consultant for the initiative and led the effort to pass the organization’s legislation in over two dozen states throughout the country. In this capacity we vetted, interviewed, retained, and managed on-the-ground lobbying teams, overseeing legislative strategy throughout the country on behalf of our client.
As a result of our efforts, as of January 2018 over half the country has enacted the Civics Education Initiative or an equivalent variations of this major education legislation. Additionally, our team helped to substantially raise the profile of the organization through involvement with the National Conference of State Legislatures as well as public relations, media training, and message development that resulted in significant earned media opportunities for the organization.
Coalition Building & Public Relations
In addition to managing the national campaign’s network of lobbyists throughout the country, Synergetic Endeavors coordinated grassroots/grasstops activities with these local teams, including the development of state-based advisory committees, coordinating with local grassroots advocates, and deploying national assets such as patch-thru calls, letters to the editor, and op-eds in support of the initiative.
Our team led message development efforts for the national initiative, including drafting testimony and talking points, national editorial pieces submitted and published in both local and national publications, and press conference logistics with elected officials and supportive stakeholders in multiple states.
• North Dakota is second state to require high school students to pass a civics test to graduate – Washington Post
• Should all students pass a citizenship test as condition of graduation? – Fox 43, Harrisburg, PA
• Alabama lawmakers require citizenship test for high schoolers – Alabama Media Group
• NCSL LegisBrief: Tackling the American Civics Education Crisis