CERG Description

The goal of the Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG) is to provide an evidence base that informs the design of policies and programs that promote the development of citizens for an effective, just, and humane democratic society.

California Survey of Civic Education
  • Project Description

    In partnership with the Educating for Democracy Initiative, CERG worked with school districts throughout the state of California to assess and promote youth civic development. The California Survey of Civic Education was designed to assess: 


    • high school students' civic commitments, capacities, and activities,
    • the civic opportunities provided by California public schools, and
    • the relationship between these opportunities and desired civic outcomes.

    The goal of the survey was to provide a measure of civic outcomes so that we could monitor youth civic engagement trends, help frame civic education priorities, and contribute to broader school reform discussions about civic outcomes. In addition, survey results enabled us to examine access to the opportunities that lead to desired civic outcomes. The findings from the survey were used to inform state educational policy and the efforts of participating schools.



    Carnegie Corporation of New York Annenberg Foundation

    The W.R. Hearst Foundation

    Longitudinal aspects of this study were funded by CIRCLE.


    Kahne J. and Middaugh, E. (2008) Democracy for some: The civic opportunity gap in high school. Circle Working Paper 59.


    Kahne J. and Middaugh, E. (2008) High Quality Civic Education: What is it and who gets it? Social Education. 72(1), pp. 34-39.


    Middaugh, E. and Kahne, J. (2008) Civic Development in Context: The influence of local contexts on high school students' beliefs about civic engagement. Forthcoming in Educating Citizens for Troubled Times: Qualitative Studies of Current Efforts, edited by J. Bixby and J. Pace.


    Rogers, J., Kahne, J., and Middaugh, E. (2007) Multiple Pathways, Vocational Education, and the "Future of Democracy." Multiple Pathways Series, UCLA's Institute for Democracy.


    Kahne, J. and Middaugh, E. (2006) Is Patriotism Good for Democracy? A Study of High School Seniors' Patriotic Commitments. Phi Delta Kappan, 87(8). 600-607.


    Kahne, J., Middaugh, E., and Croddy, M. (2005). The California Survey of Civic Education. Report to Educating for Democracy: California Campaign of Civic Education. Published by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.


    The Classroom Law Project used our survey in Oregon and produced the following report. Link to report: Oregon