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Generation Citizen Inc

 745 Atlantic Avenue
 Boston, MA 02111
[P] (914) 874-4973
[F] --
www.GenerationCitizen.org
[email protected]
Gillian Pressman
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INCORPORATED: 2010
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 27-2039522

LAST UPDATED: 06/13/2016
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Generation Citizen (GC) works to ensure that every student in the United States receives an effective action civics education. We do this by directly engaging schools in action civics while simultaneously building the demand for the concept across the country. GC envisions a country of young people working as active and effective citizens to collectively rebuild our American democracy.

Mission Statement

Generation Citizen (GC) works to ensure that every student in the United States receives an effective action civics education. We do this by directly engaging schools in action civics while simultaneously building the demand for the concept across the country. GC envisions a country of young people working as active and effective citizens to collectively rebuild our American democracy.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $1,765,870.00
Projected Expense $1,369,548.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Action-based civics curriculum

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Generation Citizen (GC) works to ensure that every student in the United States receives an effective action civics education. We do this by directly engaging schools in action civics while simultaneously building the demand for the concept across the country. GC envisions a country of young people working as active and effective citizens to collectively rebuild our American democracy.


Background Statement

GC’s national Executive Director, Scott Warren, co-founded GC as a senior at Brown University in 2008. Drawing from the support of a robust national governing Board, notable funders like Echoing Green, Draper Richards Kaplan, and the Knight Foundation, and advisory relationships with leading civics education scholars like Meira Levinson (Harvard Graduate School of Education) and Peter Levine (CIRCLE), GC developed its nationally recognized curriculum and civics assessments and has grown to serve over 8,000 students across four sites (Boston, Rhode Island, NYC, and the Bay Area). In Spring 2013, GC’s Board and staff recognized the need for each of GC’s sites to become more responsive to the local community. GC Greater Boston thus brought on a local Advisory Board of Boston philanthropists and educators and launched a Greater Boston-specific programmatic strategy to enhance impact and sustainability in the region.

GC exists because effective civics education that promotes young people’s skill development and academic engagement is no longer a key component of public education. According to a recent National Assessment of Educational Progress assessment, American students test worse in civics and history than any other subject. If schools do teach civics, it is typically the heavily fact- and content-based instruction proven least likely to be effective. Black and Latino students from low-income backgrounds are especially likely to experience ineffective civics instruction.

Without the skills to become informed and effective community members, the health of our communities suffer; leaders make decisions without hearing from broad swaths of the population (particularly in cities like Boston, in which 21% of residents live below the poverty line and 53% of residents are nonwhite). Further, evidence suggests that effective civic instruction can both prevent school dropout and positively impact a young person’s ability to attain college and career success. The skills required for informed civic participation are the same as those emphasized as “21st century skills” increasingly recognized as indicators of success in the modern job market, including critical thinking, grit, self-efficacy, and collaboration. Without the opportunity to meaningfully develop these skills, low-income and minority young people become underrepresented in institutions of higher education and in the most important career paths, as well as in our democracy.


Impact Statement

 Since 2009, GC has provided its in-school action civics course to over 10,000 Greater Boston young people, partnering with over 40 middle and high schools and engaging over 500 college DCs across 8 local campuses. GC students have helped pass local legislation to address community violence, youth unemployment, and sustainability, successfully advocated for the building of teen centers and community gardens, changed school policies, and created student governments and youth liaisons to government agencies. Through GC, youth have improved their communication and collaboration skills, learned to critically analyze community problems, and begun to see themselves as leaders for the long-term. In Summer 2014, GC also launched the Community Change Fellowship program, which places star GC students in paid summer internships in government agencies, elected official's offices, and community organizations. This advanced leadership opportunity has helped to create an active and visible cohort of civically engaged young leaders, leading change across Greater Boston. Finally, GC launched its Revive Civics, Reclaim Democracy campaign in Spring 2014, which aims to ensure young people across Massachusetts have access to action civics, beyond the reach of GC's direct program. The Revive Civics, Reclaim Democracy campaign aims to empower Massachusetts educators to deliver action civics by advocating for funding and curricular resources that support action civics implementation.

 

Needs Statement

1) Ensuring our programmatic excellence and integrity as we expand and pursue alternative program iterations. We are seeking to work with more students, and as we do so, we need to make sure that we ensure fidelity of implementation, and that each class meets our standard of excellence. Additionally, as we incorporate new program iterations that will allow us to scale (such as a teacher-led model that does not utilize college volunteers), we will look to build out structures and systems to ensure these models similarly deliver student outcomes.
 
2) Improving our Board of Directors. We have a good Board, but it needs to transition from a start-up Board to a formal, fundraising Board of Directors. This is a big priority moving forward.
 
3) Growing Our Demand Building Capability: Recognizing that every US student deserves a rigorous action civics education, we have recently invested significantly in demand-building, which will empower educators to implement action civics beyond the scope of GC's direct program. Our  demand-building work will include a variety of advocacy efforts, thought leadership, and coalition-building activities. Our challenge will be continuing to refine our strategy for demand-building, elucidating clear benchmarks and measurables of success, and fundraising for this new critical arm of GC's work.
 
4) Building up our Team: As we expand our program and demand-building, we will be building up our team. Finding the requisite talent, and ensuring that we have a team that can adequately meet our needs, will be another big need and challenge.
 
5) Evaluating our Impact: We have already made significant strides in this department as a young-non-profit but we will need to continue to make this a priority going forward, particularly as we launch new program iterations and demand-building efforts that may be more challenging to measure.

CEO Statement

What is the value of the GC action civics experience on an individual student? One of my favorite stories from GC:
 

Anthony Mendez was a former GC student attending a struggling urban high school. He himself was homeless, and was having trouble in school after a close friend was shot and killed in gang-related violence. Anthony's sense of powerlessness changed after experiencing the GC program as part of his high school class. After participating in GC, he had this to say about the experience:

After GC, Anthony decided he wanted to get more involved in community leadership, and began interning for a City Councilor over the summer and got an opportunity to meet with Michelle Obama. Ms. Obama, impressed with Anthony's passion for leadership and his story, invited Anthony to attend the State of the Union address as her special guest in January 2015. Anthony is now a freshman at the University of Hartford, studying Political Science.  


Board Chair Statement

From Massachusetts Board Chair Stephen Chan:
 
 

I was excited to serve on and lead Generation Citizen’s Massachusetts board because I deeply believe in Generation Citizen’s potential to revitalize our democracy through equipping a rising generation of leaders with the civic skills and awareness to take action in their communities. In my role as Chair, I partner with the Site Director to help lead a key transition for Generation Citizen. In Spring 2014, GC Greater Boston launched a 4-year strategic plan with the vision that each of its four local sites would emerge by Spring 2018 as their own autonomous “hub” of action civics. While the organization will remain one 501c3 and maintain a national infrastructure for fiscal operations, evaluation, and materials, each of GC’s sites will establish self-sustainability apart from GC national, and each will run a suite of high-quality programs that held national influence in their own right. I have therefore been tasked with the emergence of GC Greater Boston – how can I help guide what was previously a local arm of a national organization towards significant independent impact and influence?

The two biggest challenges we face in our mission to build a freestanding GC Greater Boston are:

1) Identifying locally responsive methods to scale so that all children in Massachusetts can receive an action civics education. The revival of democracy we seek depends on broadly transforming the education system, which means that our current mode of directly serving 3,000 young people per year will need to evolve into a range of programs, policies, and services that can reach the million+ students in Massachusetts. Strategizing this pathway and designing the appropriate Board and staff structures and systems to oversee its success will be our imperative over the next few years. Fortunately, we have already begun piloting more scalable program iterations, such as a teacher-led implementation of GC in which college students are not involved in the classrooms, and have invested in a policy arm.

2) Building local fundraising to achieve self-sustainability. GC is one of only a handful of organizations nationwide that implement action civics, and as such interest from funders and donors is only just emerging. In Massachusetts, GC has significant programmatic breadth but lacks the size and maturity to achieve recognition among the myriad “blue chip” organizations in Boston. Raising visibility for the power and value of action civics, and finding collaborators in the niche that GC occupies will continue to be a challenge, particularly as the organization and its budget expand. However, initial fundraising has been promising; in FY14, GC Boston raised 40% of its budget, and it is on track to raise 60% of its budget in FY15. GC’s unique events, such as its fall Civic Tech Challenge hackathon event and twice a year Civics Days at the State House have also helped GC stand out and bring in new resources.


Geographic Area Served

Throughout the United States

To specifically address the income-based inequities in civics education, GC prioritizes partnerships with public schools in which the majority of students are low-income, as measured by the free and reduced lunch indicator. In Greater Boston, GC partners with middle and high schools in Boston, Cambridge, Malden, Arlington, and Melrose, with the majority of its partnerships focused on Boston Public Schools.
 
GC is also expanding statewide, focusing on MA's Gateway communities. GC expanded to Brockton and Lowell in the 2015-16 school year and plans to continue pursuing statewide impact.
 
Nationally, GC also has programs in Rhode Island, New York City, and the Bay Area.
 

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Educational Services
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

Action-based civics curriculum

To fulfill our mission and promote democracy in low-income and under-represented youth populations. Generation Citizen implements a semester-long, weekly, action-based, standards-aligned civics curriculum in urban, lower-income high schools.
 
Standardized and vetted by civics experts, educators, and academics, our curriculum is taught by motivated college student volunteers, which adds a mentorship component to the program.
 
Our student-centered philosophy entails that each class will select an issue to work on that is a problem students deeply care about and want to change. Students have focused on gang violence because their friends had fallen victim to guns, addressed teenage unemployment when they couldn't find jobs, and investigated immigration policy after one of their parents had been deported. They met with legislators, wrote opinion articles, and filmed documentaries.
Budget  $200,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Delivery
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

In order to increase and measure individual student agency, Generation Citizen aims to impact and improve the following three main individual strands:

  • Individual Civics Motivation: A student’s desire to actively participate in the political process and take action on issues they care about.
  • Individual Civics Skills: A student’s ability to use acquired skills to effectively participate in the political process.
  • Individual Civics Knowledge: A student’s ability to grasp basics civics knowledge, which is taught throughout the course.
Program Long-Term Success 

Generation Citizen's principal goal is to increase individual student agency, so that students recognize their ability to make a difference in their own lives. When students recognize their ability to participate in the political process and take effective action on community and social issues that they find important, they will create a personal belief in their ability to be change makers. This, in turn, can lead to increased agency, and an enhanced sense of importance that can extend to other aspects of their life, including academics.

Program Success Monitored By  Evaluation Team      
Examples of Program Success 
Bullying: Malden High School
 
The students in Dana Marie Brown's senior sociology class felt passionate about tackling the issue of bullying, especially after the tragic suicide of Phoebe Prince that resulted after gruesome harrassment and bullying. In order to most effectively approach this issue, the students first developed a survey of questions about bullying and administered it to all the ninth graders in their house. Then, they developed an assembly complete with information on the new Massachusetts anti-bullying legislation and a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the survey results and depicting bullying as a real issue at Malden. Finally, the students designed and printed anti-bullying posters to be hung around the school as a sustainable, lasting reminder.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Scott Warren
CEO Term Start Jan 2010
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience --
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mr. Josh Solomon Managing Director Previously Director of Peace First Prize at Peace First.
Meghan Trombly Director of Programming Previous Director at Strong Women Strong Girls.

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Fellowship Echoing Green 2010

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

--

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 15
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 500
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 80%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 11
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Quarterly
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Quarterly

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Lisa Issroff
Board Chair Company Affiliation Board Chair
Board Chair Term Jan 2016 - Jan 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Gary Blank Fidelity Voting
Edwin Cohen Carlin Ventures Exofficio
Louise Davis Executive Director, Peer Health Exchange Voting
Tom Fry Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Voting
Julie Hudman Julie Hudman Group Voting
Lisa Issroff Issroff Family Foundation Voting
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg Tufts Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement Voting
Andrew Offitt Somerville Mayor's Office Voting
Thomas Panitz DebtX Voting
Margaret Poster Wilkie Farr & Gallagher Voting
Matthew Segnari Bennett Midland LLC Voting
Yanev Suissa NEA Voting
Mary Vascellaro Bay Area Advisory Board, Teach for America Voting
Scott Warren Executive Director, Generation Citizen Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Kate Barrett Greenlight Fund Voting
Tref Borden Fish Family Foundation Voting
Stephen Chan The Boston Foundation Voting
Megan Greeley Boston College Voting
Meredith Haviland Foley Hoag Voting
Justin Kang Yesware Voting
Chris Keohan CK Strategies Voting
Aimee Sprung Microsoft Voting
Ravi Venkataraman MFS Management Voting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $1,347,998 $937,501 $1,082,338
Total Expenses $1,291,027 $1,180,990 $773,914

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $1,160,502 $852,291 $985,317
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $187,046 $74,663 $94,000
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- $2,294 $214
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $450 $8,253 $2,807

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $785,431 $846,177 $554,529
Administration Expense $188,849 $139,943 $91,601
Fundraising Expense $316,747 $194,870 $127,784
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.04 0.79 1.40
Program Expense/Total Expenses 61% 72% 72%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 27% 23% 13%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $230,273 $182,567 $403,220
Current Assets $230,273 $182,567 $403,220
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $76,201 $85,466 $62,630
Total Net Assets $154,072 $97,101 $340,590

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates July 2014 - June 2016
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 3.02 2.14 6.44

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data, charts, and graphs are from IRS 990s. 
 
 
Please note the 2010 Form 990 reflects 11 months. This nonprofit organization had a short year of 6 months for the first half of 2011, while converting from calendar year to fiscal year, which is reflected in the short year Form 990 posted above. 
 

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Short Term Impact Goals: As a result of the GC program, students will experience measurable increases in:

· Civic Skills: ability to conduct a range of collaborative discussions, write explanatory texts to convey complex concepts, and analyze written content.

· Civic Knowledge: knowledge of the principles and institutions of government in the US and the role of citizens.

· Motivation and Efficacy: GC develops student grit, the ability to persevere through challenges, efficacy, an individual’s sense of agency in accomplishing difficult tasks, and drive, the desire to follow through on goals.

Long Term Impact Goals: Over the long-term, the experience of GC will enhance students’ civic behaviors, including their likelihood to vote, their likelihood to work with others to solve a community problem, their likelihood to take part in public speaking opportunities, and their likelihood to participate in public meetings or contact public officials. Although enhanced civic engagement is itself predictive of college and career success (see Institute for Higher Education Policy, Noncognitive Assessment and College Success, http://www.ihep.org/assets/files/publications/m-r/NoncognitiveAssessment.pdf), GC also leads to academic spillover effects, including increased school attendance, high school graduation, and college matriculation among GC alumni.

1.    Get Civics Back into the Classroom

2.    Change How Civics is Taught: Just as students learn science through experiments, GC wants them to learn civics by “doing civics” - by taking action on personally relevant issues, not by simply identifying the three branches of government on a test.

3.    Convince Decision Makers that Youth Voice Matters: Young people need to be stakeholders in the change process. GC wants decision makers to value their input - and for youth to offer informed opinions.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

GC's offerings include:

In-School Action Civics Course: GC partners college volunteers (called Democracy Coaches or “DCs”) with middle and high school teachers to lead a Common-Core- and state-standards-aligned “action civics” curriculum. The semester-long in-school course unfolds as follows:

1. Students identify a personally relevant issue of concern (e.g., teen unemployment, gang violence), analyze the underlying root causes and relevant local decision-makers, and develop an action plan, which includes specific, focused goals. GC’s framework teaches students to recognize the policies and services that are involved with local issues, so action plans move beyond volunteering or raising awareness and instead effect systemic change.

2. Students spend the bulk of the semester implementing their action plans. Students hold meetings with decision-makers (which could include State Congresspeople, City Councilors, school administrators, etc.), collaborate with other community groups, organize their peers, and strategically engage local media.

3. The semester culminates in “Civics Day,” GC’s dynamic field trip experience, in which students present their action plans and preliminary outcomes to public officials, over 400 students from fellow GC classes, and business leaders at the MA State House.

Community Change Fellowship: With support of the Knight Foundation and the Boston Foundation, GC recently launched a summer Fellowship program. GC uses a competitive application process to select former GC students and place them in 8-week internships in local community organizations and offices, including Sociedad Latina, the Office of New Bostonians, the Office of Food Initiatives, and Jobs with Justice.

Demand Building:  In addition to its direct action civics programming, GC launched an advocacy campaign in Massachusetts in 2014, which focuses on increased action civics curricular resources for MA educators and increased state funding for teacher professional development in support of action civics,

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Innovative Model: GC is innovative for the following reasons:

1. In-School Program with Summer Enrichment: By operating within school hours, GC ensures that all students – not only those who participate in extracurricular activities – learn to be active citizens. At the same time, the summer Community Change Fellowship allows GC’s most advanced students to extend their learning and experience deeper civic opportunities beyond the school year.

2. Action-Focus: GC teaches civics to students of all backgrounds by actually doing civics, creating a forum in which students engage in the democratic process in real time.

3. Student-Driven: While many youth empowerment programs focus on pre-determined issues, GC is entirely student-driven. The youth themselves choose the issues that define their experience. Research suggests that a student-centered pedagogical approach can dramatically increase engagement and learning (National Research Council, “How People Learn”).

Boards and Staff:

National & Local, and Associate Boards: GC has been fortunate to attract the interest of many successful and experienced individuals to serve as members of its National Board of Directors. The Board currently has twelve members, and is chaired by Lisa Issroff of the Issroff Family Foundation. The Board currently meets formally each quarter (and in person twice per year) with other, less formal, interactions amongst themselves and with senior management on a more frequent basis.

In addition to the National Board of Directors, GC Greater Boston launched a Massachusetts Board in June 2013. This local non-governing Board is comprised of ten local philanthropists and businesspeople (affiliations and locations included in the attachment), and is chaired by Stephen Chan, VP of Strategy and Operations at the Boston Foundation. The Massachusetts Board is responsible for local strategic oversight, local fundraising, and securing publicity and thought leadership opportunities for GC locally.

Finally, GC has an established an Associate Board of thirteen passionate young professionals. The Greater Boston Associate Board hosts 2-3 fundraising and educational events per year, and contributes significantly to local fundraising and networking.

Generation Citizen Staff: GC’s staff consists of seventeen full-time employees and a part-time Director of Evaluation. Five of these full-time staff members are national (Executive Director, Managing Director, Director of Programming, Director of Development, Development Associate, and Operations Associate) and three are dedicated solely to the management and implementation of the Greater Boston site and program (Greater Boston Site Director, Greater Boston Program Manager, Greater Boston Program Associate).


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

Indicators: GC rigorously evaluates growth around the following indicators in its work:

  • · Civic Skills: Students’ ability to speak and write persuasively, critically analyze written content, and collaborate with others to make decisions. These skills are predictive of college readiness well as informed civic participation.
  • · Civic Motivation: Students’ sense of civic responsibility, belief that they can achieve civic goals, and persistence in driving community improvement.
  • · Civic Knowledge: Students’ knowledge of their local civic landscape, including identification of local decision-makers and awareness of opportunities for citizens to engage with local government.
Tools: Because action civics is a largely untested field and GC recognizes the importance of using data to monitor impact, GC has been at the forefront of developing innovative surveys, rubrics, and observations to measure student growth in the above skills, knowledge, and motivation. GC’s initial assessments have been promising.

The specific sources of data used to evaluate impact include:

1. Pre and post-test surveys, distributed by classroom teachers, completed by every student, and analyzed by GC’s internal, part-time Director of Research & Evaluation;

2. Qualitative interviews and focus groups, conducted by outside researchers;

3. Classroom and DC Chapter Meeting observation data collected by program staff that evaluates lesson planning/implementation, classroom interaction, student engagement, and DCs’ effectiveness;

4. Qualitative exit interviews with all teachers that provide insight into the efficacy of the GC classroom experience from their perspective; and

5. Quantifiable rubrics that evaluate students on their use of civics skills (e.g., use of persuasive communication, oral or written, in class-work).

Additionally, with the support of the Knight Foundation and in partnership with The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), GC is beginning a longitudinal evaluation to test whether the program is engaging young people in the democratic process over the long-term. The collective results will serve not only as proof points for expansion within the current sites and across the nation, but also as evidence for larger systemic change. GC believes that GC’s model can fundamentally alter young people’s understanding of their role and responsibility in our democracy, and will look to evaluation results to make that case. We will conduct surveys every six months with previous students to gather this information.

Initial assessments have been promising. From GC’s most recently completed program cycle (2014-15 school year) in Greater Boston:

  • · 78% of students increased their civic skills
  • · 79% of students increased their civic knowledge
  • · 66% of students increased their civic motivation

Additionally, external studies have confirmed impact:

    • Impact on Civic Skills: In Spring 2013, independent research firm Glass Frog Solutions designed an assessment to measure development in GC students’ civic skills (e.g., persuasive communication and critical analysis). All students in the program participated in a pre-post assessment and scores were found to have risen 1.9 points (equivalent to a .8 standard deviation), while the civic skills of students in a comparison group remained constant.
    • Impact on Student Efficacy: Another Glass Frog study from Spring 2013 found that participation in GC helped students develop an increased and clearer sense of efficacy (confidence that they could impact the democratic process and that leaders would listen to what they have to say).

· 

In school year 2016-17, GC projects that over 80% of the students engaged will see measurable increases in skills and knowledge, and 75% will see increases in motivation.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

In June 2014, GC launched a 4-year strategic plan that includes the following three key goals.

    A) Prioritize Partnerships and Determine “Critical Mass”: GC's program can only have systemic influence on our democracy if they are reaching enough students. GC plans to critically analyze schools and districts to identify those partnerships most appropriate for partnerships in terms of their ability to scale and to be managed effectively. By analyzing this market, GC also hopes to better identify service levels that constitute a “critical mass.” 2)     A)B) Increase the robustness of GC’s current grassroots advocates (former GC students and educators) by developing a structured alumni program that includes ongoing communication, events, and workshops.

3) Next Steps: Structure and Develop Local Board for Maximum Efficacy B) Scale and Reorganize Staffing to oversee fundraising.