Civic Education Competition Takes Center Stage at Ohio Statehouse
Why did the Articles of Confederation prove inadequate to form a national government? In what ways did the Articles of Confederation demonstrate a distrust of strong national government, and to what extent do those reasons exist today? Are they justified?
These are some of many questions high school students from across the state will answer during the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution state competition held on Jan. 22 at the Ohio Statehouse.
Participating schools include: Archbold High School (Fulton County), Findlay High School (Hancock County), Northmont High School (Montgomery County), Van Wert High School (Van Wert County), and West Carrollton High School (Montgomery County). Law and Leadership Institute (LLI) students from Cincinnati (Clark Montessori, Fairfield High School, Walnut Hills High School, and Wyoming High School) will also participate.
“We the People enhances students’ understanding of American constitutional democracy and helps them to identify the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” Lisa Eschleman, Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) executive director, said. “The state competition is a wonderful opportunity for students to demonstrate the critical thinking, problem-solving, and cooperative learning skills necessary to become active, responsible citizens.”
We the People, a national program administered in Ohio by the OCLRE, allows students to participate in simulated congressional hearings. Students showcase their understanding of constitutional principles and evaluate, present, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues. After providing prepared answers to the competition questions, students undergo questioning by judging panels including college professors, judges, attorneys, state legislators, and other community leaders, who probe their full comprehension of the topic.
The winning class will represent Ohio in the We the People national finals held on April 22-25 at the University of Maryland.
OCLRE is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of America’s democratic system. The Supreme Court of Ohio, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation sponsor OCLRE. In Ohio, We the People is funded in part by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. For more information visit www.oclre.org.
LLI is a statewide initiative in collaboration with the legal community that inspires high school students, primarily from urban public school districts, for post-secondary and professional success through a comprehensive four-year academic program in law, leadership, analytical thinking, problem solving, writing skills and professionalism. For more information visit www.lawandleadership.org.