ACE is a public service project of the Idaho State Bar’s Government and Public Lawyer Section. ACE's mission is to educate Idaho Bar members about existing K-12 civic education with volunteers and fundraising.
Who are the leaders of ACE?
ACE is led by a committee of volunteer lawyers.
What are the goals of ACE?
ACE’s goals are to increase awareness, volunteerism, and fundraising for civic education programs in Idaho. ACE focuses on recruiting members of the Idaho State Bar, but also includes non-Bar members and non-attorneys.
Is ACE part of the ISB?
ACE is not part of the Idaho State Bar or the Idaho Law Foundation, but it does work closely with those organizations.
What kind of organization is ACE?
ACE is not organized as a legal entity. Rather, it is a group of interested members who work together on ACE’s mission.
How do I make a donation of money to ACE?
ACE acts as a "booster club" for organizations that conduct programs consistent with ACE's goals. ACE's support is currently focused on two programs that already exist within Idaho: The "We the People" program and the Idaho Law Foundation's Mock Trial program. More information about these programs can be found by clicking the "Idaho Programs" link above.
Click Here to donate to Idaho's "We the People" program or to the Idaho Law Foundation's Idaho Mock Trial program.
How is ACE funded?
ACE is run by volunteers and occasionally works with other groups to put on events We are a community service project existing within the Idaho State Bar's Government and Public Sector section, which provides basic operating funds.
I have time but no money. What can I do to further the goals of ACE?
Contact ACE and we will help you connect with a volunteer opportunity.
I pay my taxes. Aren’t I already paying for civics education at the public schools?
The programs that ACE supports supplement public school curriculum. Also, some schools have had to cut these programs because of a loss of Federal funds. Public schools are constantly being asked to do more with less, and ACE’s goal is to enhance exiting school curriculum in this important topic.
How does ACE promote civics education?
Currently, ACE promotes civic education by working closely with civic education programs in Idaho to identify specific projects that ACE can take on to assist the programs. For instance, ACE has published articles, sponsored events where volunteers are recruited, and created this website to raise awareness and fundraise. In the future ACE hopes to expand its activities.
Why is civics education important?
Former United States Supreme Court Justice David Souter said, “I don’t believe there is any problem of American politics in American public life which is more significant today than the pervasive civic ignorance of the Constitution of the United States and the structure of government.”
Boise State University’s Andrus Center for Public Policy advocates for civic education because, “None of us can be effective, engaged citizens of our republic unless we possess the civic skills needed to make informed, well-reasoned decisions.”
In 2012, Xavier University’s Center for the Study of the American Dream released the results of a study in which native-born United States citizens took the civics portion of the United States Naturalization test. While the pass rate for immigrants seeking citizenship was reported to be 97.5 percent, one in three United States citizens born in this country failed the civics portion. Only about one-third of Americans can name the three branches of government, let alone describe their role in our democratic system. Less than one-fifth of high-school seniors – citizens who might be eligible to exercise their franchise for the first time this November – can explain how citizen participation benefits democracy.
As former Supreme Court Justice O’Connor aptly stated “the fundamental skills and knowledge of citizenship are not handed down through the gene pool. They must be taught and learned anew by each generation.”