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As people gathered for a festival in Gilroy, California, for shopping in El Paso, Texas, and for entertainment in Dayton, Ohio, they were gunned down by young men in seemingly isolated incidents. Two of these shootings occurred within thirteen hours of each other, forcing the nation to direct its grief towards multiple communities concurrently. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Communities across the United States—from Newton to Orlando to Parkland and so many more—still mourn their losses from recent mass shootings. The media and nation often ignore the pleas of communities of color to confront the systemic issues associated with gun violence. The mass shootings constitute new incarnations of systemic issues that plague the United States. The severity and prevalence of the crisis in the United States is beyond compare. Yet, policy solutions—including those with overwhelming support from the public—have been thwarted by a narrow group of lobbyists and politicians. As of now, there is little hope that mass shootings will subside. This is America today.

1. Thanks for taking the time to interview with us! Tell us how the NCSS technology community got started.

The Tech Community has been around for a long while. Some of our members like to recall the times when the community was discussing the advent of the ballpoint pen as a particularly ingenious invention, though obviously our work these days is focused on digital tools. 

We really picked up steam at the conference in Boston in 2014. There were about a dozen people at the community business meeting that year and many of us had attended prior meetings (some for many years). We decided then and there that we’d stop the cycle of meeting once a year to talk about what could be done with little action otherwise. Our first step was to start meeting monthly online, which allowed us to discuss possibilities and start implementing some programming throughout the year and at the annual conference.

1. What is KidCitizen, and why did you start it? 

Summer Leadership Collaborative a Success

The National Council for the Social Studies recently hosted the 2019 Summer Leadership Collaborative. NCSS President Tina Heafner hosted a successful institute which featured civic discussions, learning, and more. Check out these highlights from the event.

Social Studies educators gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina to explore leadership, diversity, civic education, and more.

Dear NCSS Community,

Recently, we became aware of a new bill introduced in the United States Senate, S.2024, the USA Civics Act of 2019. This bill was introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX). It is intended to update an American history and civics grant program under the Higher Education Act. Here are a few resources:

  • Senators Coons and Cornyn issued a press release summarizing the proposed legislation.
  • The complete bill text is found at

I am writing to urge you to contact the education aides of your U.S. Senators. Ask them to encourage your Senators to become co-sponsors of S.2024.

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has signed onto a letter, organized by the Association of American Educators Foundation, sent to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and leaders in Congress calling for their help in addressing the lack of teacher diversity in our nation’s classrooms.

The recent release of the Trump Administration’s FY2020 budget request once again proposes deep cuts to programs affecting social studies educators nationwide. Of direct concern is the proposed elimination of the U.S. Department of Education’s K-12 American History & Civics Grants and Academies, currently funded at $4.8 million.

Our partners at the National Coalition for History summarized the impact across all history-based programs in the proposed FY2020 budget.

In addition, there are several other proposed cuts to programs which are important to teacher professional development and student achievement in the social studies. These are summarized in the U.S. Department of Education Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Summary (see page 49). Major programs to be aware of include:

NCSS International Assembly Logo

The International Assembly is a NCSS Associated Group that provides a forum for discussion of the international dimensions of the social studies. The IA is inviting social studies teachers, educators, and scholars to participate in its roundtable sessions at the 2019 NCSS Annual Conference in Austin, TX, on Friday, November 22, 2019. Four types of proposals are welcomed for submission:

National Council for the Social Studies has an excellent opportunity for a Digital Marketing Manager. You will use your creative marketing skills to help grow the organization working in a positive, professional environment. Come join our team!

This position will be responsible for maximizing membership recruitment, retention, and engagement through the successful formation and execution of digital communications and marketing strategies for NCSS, Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society, and the NCSS Annual Conference. This position will also lead the production of digital communications resources to support NCSS, Rho Kappa, NCSS Publications, website management, social media, and NCSS branding in connection with the Director of Marketing and Membership.