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America could really use a civics lesson. And it's about to get one. The National Conference on Citizenship, a federally chartered nonprofit founded in 1946 to strengthen civic ties, will release the first Civic Health Index next week, tracking changes in the awareness and engagement of the citizenry over the past three decades. It presents a bleak picture--steep declines in most of the 40 measures that were analyzed, including how much people trust one another and major institutions, and their connections to their communities. The index offers a couple of bright spots: more citizens, especially young ones, vote now than in...

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