Equity & Access

The Leveraging Equity and Access in Democratic Education (LEADE) initiative provides educational decision makers with research-based tools for assessing equity and access in civic education in order to improve civic learning opportunities in and out of schools for all students.

Unfortunately, civic learning opportunities are inequitably distributed. On average, white students, middle class students, and students in higher-track classes experience more classroom-based,3 after-school, and informal4 civic learning opportunities, and are much more likely to be engaged in extracurricular groups that support civic development.5

To read more about research on equity and access to civic learning, click here.


3 J. Kahne & E. Middaugh, Democracy for Some: The Civic Opportunity Gap in High School, p. 5; CIRCLE Paper 59
4 Putnam, R., Frederick, C., & Snellman, K. (2012). “Growing Class Gaps in Social Connectedness among American Youth.” Saguaro Seminar, Harvard University. Accessed at http://www.hks.harvard.edu/var/ezp_site/storage/fckeditor/file/SaguaroReport_DivergingSocialConnectedness_20120808.pdf
5 Monitoring the Future data analyzed in K. Kawashima-Ginsberg, K., “Harry, Hermione, Ron and Neville – Portraits of American Teenagers’ Extracurricular Participation and Implications for Educational Interventions,” CIRCLE working paper #79, 2014. Retrieved from www.civicyouth.org.
6 Kahne and Middaugh. “Democracy for Some: The Civic Opportunity Gap in High School.”
7 Rogers, John, and Terriquez, Veronica. “After-school Civic Learning Opportunities for California Youth.” UCLA IDEA, Los Angeles. 2017.
8 The Guardian of Democracy: the Civic Mission of Schools; Jonathan Gould, et. al; p. 5; The Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools.