School leaders from across the state learned about the Chief Justice's Civic Learning initiative at a major education symposium January 31st hosted by the Association of California School Administrators.

The 17,000-member organization is the largest association of school leaders throughout the California K-12 system.

Justice Judith McConnell, Administrative Presiding Justice of the state's Fourth District Court of Appeal, and Superintendent of Sacramento County Schools David W. Gordon discussed the importance of educating students on the judiciary and the three branches of government. Both of them were joined on stage by high school and middle school students from Salinas and Monterey who shared their experiences with civic learning.

"Justice McConnell and the students were so inspirational and helped school leaders see both the need for civic learning and the ways it can develop confident, informed, and well-spoken young leaders," Superintendent Gordon said.

The Chief Justice established the Power of Democracy campaign as a far-reaching effort to improve civic learning and engagement in California. The Chief Justice appointed Justice McConnell as Chair of the Power of Democracy Steering Committee. Now in its sixth year, the committee has established a statewide Civic Learning Award and a pilot program—Judges in the Classroom—that pairs classrooms with county judges.