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Local students to compete at We the People in Indy

04 Dec 2016

Three local schools will be among more than 24 Indiana high schools and middle schools showcasing their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution Dec. 11-13 in Indianapolis. Students from Munster High School, two teams from Wilbur Wright Middle School in Munster and two teams from Willowcreek Middle School in Portage will compete. As part of the "We the People" competition, students will testify before panels of judges in mock congressional hearings that assess their understanding of the Constitution, the government and U.S. history. Students display critical thinking, research, teamwork and public speaking skills as well as content knowledge.    Read more >


Centennial crowned "We the People" regional winner

04 Dec 2016

Centennial High School took top honors Saturday at the annual "We the People" competition that tests knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office said. It will represent Kern County in the state championship, to be held in Bakersfield Feb. 3 and 4. Nearly 200 students from eight Kern County high schools competed for either the 21st or 23rd Congressional District title, depending on the location of their campus. Arvin High School won in the 21st while Centennial won in the 23rd. It was close, but Centennial was named the overall regional winner, KCSOS officials said. Arvin High could still compete in    Read more >


‘We the People’ enters high-needs schools

30 Nov 2016

When the teams of Beech Grove Middle School students recently took their turns answering questions from the judges, they were not just any group vying for the We the People trophy. They represented an effort to expand the civic education curriculum into schools that otherwise might not have the budget to offer the program. The James Madison Legacy Project, started in 2015 by the Center for Civic Education, enabled Beech Grove to implement We the People courses into the eighth grade. With a .8 million grant from the Department of Education, the goal of the nationwide project is to bring the civic and government education program into high-    Read more >


Nebraska Bar Foundation President Completes his Term

22 Nov 2016

Attorney Stanley C. Goodwin of McCook recently completed a two-year term as President of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation. Charles F. Gotch of Omaha was the incoming president as of Oct. 17 and presented Goodwin with a John Elway autographed football, while thanking him for his leadership, according to a press release. Goodwin's favorite NFL team is the Denver Broncos. "Stan is a wonderful volunteer who has provided outstanding leadership and support. The foundation is fortunate that he will remain as a lifetime member of its board of directors," said foundation executive director Doris Huffman. Goodwin's time as president saw several    Read more >


Colorado We the People teachers talk about their students' activities

21 Nov 2016

The day after Donald Trump won the presidential election, a student at Northglenn High School wore his “I’m a deplorable” T-shirt along with a Trump hat to school. At Dunstan Middle School in Jefferson County, a pair of girls put a sticker that said “racist” next to a Donald Trump sign on a door that had been decorated with items representing both candidates. At Aurora West College Preparatory Academy, where many students raised questions about Trump’s deportation plans, a boy ruefully joked to his soccer coach that the team would have no players next year. In the aftermath of a long and divisive presidential race, these are    Read more >


Democracy needs an educated electorate

21 Nov 2016

Maida Buckley has made her life’s work getting Alaska youth interested in government and democracy. The 68-year-old retired social studies teacher said that for democracy to flourish, people must be educated. “If the founders feared for democracy for any reason, it was the uneducated that made them fear democracy,” Buckley said. “Rights might be inherent. Ideas need to be taught. “If we are in a democracy, we depend on the people to make decisions. The underlying part of that is education.” Buckley has been doing her part since the 1970s. She has taught history, government, economics and Native American culture in public    Read more >


Civic literacy vital to democracy

09 Nov 2016

If this year’s election taught us anything, it is the importance of educating our young people to become informed, engaged citizens who have the critical thinking skills to analyze and discuss issues and to disagree in a civil manner. That is what a civic education provides, and never has it been more important to the future of our country. Thomas Jefferson famously remarked: “… if we think them (the people) not enlightened enough, the remedy is ... to inform them by education.” Creating citizens with the knowledge, skills and desire to participate in our democratic society was, in fact, the reason public schools were established in    Read more >


Civic education is vital to a democracy

31 Oct 2016

Last week you heard about two Cascade School District teachers being named Civic Scholars by Representative Jodi Hack. That’s a big deal. Those teachers are Tammy Walling from Cloverdale Elementary and Matt McBeth from Cascade High School. They teach civics. Civics is not the snoozer class of yesteryear. Civics, in the Cascade School District like many others, is woven into U.S. Government, History, and other social studies classes. Unlike many other core subjects, social studies is constantly changing. This year’s election season provides a perfect example. The daily headlines keep many social studies teachers up at night. The    Read more >


Interview with Julie Powers-Gehman

30 Oct 2016

Julie Powers-Gehman is a county commissioner in Otsego County, Michigan, who has been involved with the We the People program    Read more >


Buckles and Burton attend James Madison Legacy Project’s institute

30 Oct 2016

Buckles and Cameron Burton are representing Rhea County Schools in the James Madison Legacy Project. The James Madison Legacy Project is a three-year nationwide initiative of the Center for Civic Education, which aims to increase the number of highly-effective teachers of high-need students through the professional development of 2,025 teachers, increase the achievement of at least 202,500 students in attaining state standards in civics and government, serve the self identified professional development needs of a minimum of more than 500 participating schools with significant concentrations of high-need students throughout the United States    Read more >


STUDENTS NEED CIVICS MORE THAN EVER, EDUCATORS SAY: Campaign Provides Platform for Lessons in Civil Discourse

28 Oct 2016

Kentwood Public Schools, MI — Hillary Baker and Ellen Zwarensteyn have coached students in becoming so well-versed in government and civics that they take home national awards. Baker has led outstanding We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution teams, made up of high school students who rattle off informed opinions about different facets of the U.S. Constitution in front of lawyers, judges and professors. Zwarensteyn has coached award-winning high school debaters who argue different sides of complex policy. But despite their track records in engaging students in civics, politics and government, both educators say there is much work    Read more >


History teachers touch history

20 Oct 2016

About 25 social studies teachers from across the region visited K-State's Manhattan campus Oct. 14 to handle some of humanity's most precious documents. The professional development day was led by Thomas Vontz, professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education and director of the Center for Social Studies Education. The activities were part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the Center for Civic Education — the James Madison Legacy Project. "Our K-State Libraries and librarians, in this case Laura Bonella and Sara Kearns, deserve high praise for bringing this collection to K-State and for helping us    Read more >


Students find confidence, increase knowledge through mock congressional hearings

07 Oct 2016

Tuesday was slightly nerve-racking for Kaleb Rath and Ian Anderson. That’s because they had to present to a current state senator and a former one about an issue pertaining to the U.S Constitution. It was a part of their senior government class taught by social studies teacher Preston Sunderman at Lutheran High Northeast. This is the first year Sunderman has required his students to participate in a mock congressional hearing, the purpose of which is to teach students about the Constitution. It’s a classroom exercise he discovered at a social studies conference two years ago. “They were kind of going over this 'We the People'    Read more >


Secretary of State Says Bring Back Civics Classes

27 Sep 2016

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray is calling for a return of civics classes to Wyoming classrooms. Murray says recent surveys show only about 10 percent of state residents between the ages of 18-24 are voting in most elections. He says on, the other hand, Wyoming voters in their 50s and 60s “have exceptionally high voter turnout rates”, pushing the overall state average up. Murray says the low percentage of young voters in Wyoming elections, combined with the fact that roughly 60 percent of state residents between the ages of 18-29 end up moving out of state, adds up to a very low number of young people voting in Wyoming. He says that    Read more >


Learning civics is key to preserving our republic

22 Sep 2016

At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked “Well, doctor, what have we got — a Republic or a Monarchy?” His response: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Franklin seems to have understood the fragility of a republic and his “if you can keep it” statement sounds like a challenge — a challenge we must embrace as we think about civic life in the 21st century. We’ve all seen the television segments, where the interviewer finds a “man on street” and asks questions about our country’s history or government. Frequently, we chuckle and think how could anyone not know that? However,    Read more >


Effective civic education produces informed voters

19 Sep 2016

Civic education is the primary way our citizens acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for informed and engaged citizenship. While many institutions, such as the family, the church and social organizations, help forge a person’s civic character and propensity to participate, civic education in the schools is the one common experience American citizens share that helps them acquire and learn to use the skills, knowledge and attitudes that prepare them to be competent and responsible citizens throughout their lives. This is the historic civic mission of schools — a mission considered so important by those who established a free,    Read more >


Skiatook teacher chosen for summer institute

19 Sep 2016

Skiatook High School teacher Christina Merten has been selected from a statewide applicant pool to participate in the nationwide James Madison Legacy Project (JMLP), a civics and government education development program. The program, which gives Oklahoma middle and high school teachers new resources and training focusing on citizens’ rights and responsibilities, is a result of an Oklahoma Bar Association Law-related Education Department (LRE) initiative. The LRE outreach will offer more than ,000 in funds to provide professional development for teachers focusing on the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights    Read more >


Survey Reveals Americans Don't know much about the Constitution

19 Sep 2016

The Center for Civic Education, in cooperation with Professor Diana Owen of Georgetown University, released the results of a Constitution Day survey that found that only 14 percent of Americans think they know a lot about the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The survey indicated that although Americans might not be well informed about these documents, there is widespread agreement on many of the basic ideas they contain. This includes agreement about some of the basic purposes of government that transcends party affiliation, political ideology and demographics. Survey items include basic ideas in the documents without    Read more >


Americans Do Not Know Much About the Constitution, But Support Its Basic Ideas

19 Sep 2016

The Center for Civic Education, in cooperation with Professor Diana Owen of Georgetown University, released the results of a Constitution Day survey that found that only 14 percent of Americans think they know a lot about the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The survey indicated that although Americans might not be well informed about these documents, there is widespread agreement on many of the basic ideas they contain. This includes agreement about some of the basic purposes of government that transcends party affiliation, political ideology and demographics. Survey items include basic ideas in the documents without    Read more >


Survey Reveals Americans Do Not Know Much About the Constitution, But Support Its Basic Ideas

19 Sep 2016

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 15, 2016 Today, the Center for Civic Education, in cooperation with Professor Diana Owen of Georgetown University, released the results of a Constitution Day survey that found that only 14 percent of Americans think they know a lot about the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The survey indicated that although Americans might not be well informed about these documents, there is widespread agreement on many of the basic ideas they contain. This includes agreement about some of the basic purposes of government that transcends party affiliation, political ideology and demographics. Survey items include    Read more >