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Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @
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May 26, 2005

Schools Required to Teach About the Constitution on Sept. 17

Posted by Ernest Miller

As someone who thinks children should recite the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America instead of the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in school (True Patriots Recite the Preamble), the news that federal law now requires all schools receiving federal funds to teach the US Constitution on the anniversary of its signing, Sept. 17, doesn't really bother me (Schools Required to Teach Constitution on Sept. 17).

Read the Notice of Implementation of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 17 of Each Year.

Frankly, I think kids need a lot more familiarity with the Constitution. While the requirement that colleges have to teach it is absurd, I find myself actually in agreement that lower schools teach it. I find some of the opposition a bit ridiculous:

“You may have to leap from the Civil War or Vietnam to the Constitution,” Fuller said. “Local schools cover the Constitution, and they’ve been doing it for a long time. We don’t need the federal micromanagement. Congress has been acting more like a school board.”
If you can't find some relevant Constitutional teaching in the Civil War or Vietnam, you aren't even trying. Yes, it is a burden. And, yes, we don't want the federal government micromanaging education. But if there is one thing the government should insist be taught, it is the Constitution. I can think of no other thing that is more important in public school than the fundamentals of citizenship, and the fundamentals of citizenship are found in the Constitution.

Putting one day aside to teach the Constitution, thus emphasizing its importance seems worth it to me.

via LIS News

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (1) | Category: Freedom of Expression


COMMENTS

1. Scote on May 27, 2005 12:34 PM writes...

"Putting one day aside to teach the Constitution, thus emphasizing its importance seems worth it to me."

I'd agree, but it must not be mandated by congress unless the constitutional message we want to convey is a hypocritical one. I close reading of the constitution will clearly show that the establishment of educational standards are not one of the powers granted to the Federal government by the constitution.

If anything, mandating the teaching of the constitution might teach kids that the mandate was unconstitutional.

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