Press Release: News Release September 2003: First Congressional Conference to Launch State Civics Campaign:

State Bar of Wisconsin

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    September
    23
    2003

    News Release September 2003: First Congressional Conference to Launch State Civics Campaign

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    For Immediate Release
      CONTACT: Christi Powers
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (800) 444-9404, ext. 6025
    org cpowers wisbar wisbar cpowers org
    *

    First Congressional Conference to Launch State Civics Campaign
    State Bar of Wisconsin Joins Washington DC Summit

    MADISON, September 23, 2003 - The State Bar of Wisconsin joins a group of legislators, educational leaders and other state officials this week for the First Annual Congressional Conference on Civic Education in Washington DC.

    Dee Runaas, State Bar law-related education coordinator, leads a team of delegates for a national forum on how to reinvigorate civics education in public schools. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, the conference will address how to improve student performance, increase teacher preparation and augment state and local policy requirements for civics education.

    "Wisconsin is actually ahead of the curve because last year a task force was formed to identify methods to improve civic education in Wisconsin schools," Runaas said. "Along with those recommendations, we'll be working with national leaders to launch concrete efforts to strengthen existing programs and to develop new initiatives."

    The delegates will return from Washington to build on ideas generated last year by the Wisconsin Civics Education Task Force. Recommendations called for professional development of teachers, increased learning about democratic practices, and using schools and communities as 'democratic laboratories.'

    At the summit this week in Washington DC, Runaas is joined State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elizabeth Burmaster, Rep. Luther S. Olsen (R-Berlin), Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) and Kori Oberle, Wisconsin Educational Communications Board. The conference is hosted by Senate Majority Leader William Frist (R-Tenn.), Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S. Dakota), House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a law license in Wisconsin. With more than 20,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members to help them maintain their expertise, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out community service initiatives to educate the public about the legal system and the value of lawyers.