This landmark program, co-sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, engages upper elementary, middle and high school students in a curriculum designed to foster understanding of the institutions of American democracy, including the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing in which students “testify” (while they test their knowledge and confidence) before a panel of volunteer attorneys, educators and civic leaders.
See below for more information about:
IMPORTANT: Funding for We the People was not included in Congress’ last budget. But both Classroom Law Project and the Center for Civic Education remain open for business. CLP is funded through a variety of sources – including friends like you – and we remain committed to quality civic education in the classroom and We the People is a part of that. We will continue to support the WTP program with:
- professional development,
- classroom support, and
- district and state competitions for high school.
It can be hard to keep up with all the great books about American government and democracy. Back by popular demand is a a book club where we will explore great books — loosely related to the Units in the WTP text — with great friends over a pretty good dinner. Leading book club discussions is the always insightful Susie Marcus and with her Shelley Larkins, the winning, inquisitive and fun attorney coach from Grant HS’s Con Team.
We are back at the Lucky Lab at 915 SE Hawthorne. Arrive around 5:00 for dinner and we will begin discussing the book at 5:30. PDUs are available. Lewis & Clark College continuing education credit is also available; teachers must attend ALL meetings to receive credit.
The book club is free and so is dinner! But space is limited so advance reservation is required.
Check out the books and dates below. And register now!
- Tuesday, Dec. 3 Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
- Tuesday, Feb. 25 Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Life Among the Lowly by Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Tuesday, Apr. 29 Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy by Gary May
- Tuesday, May 27 Peyote vs. the State: Religious Freedom on Trial by Garrett Epps
- Tuesday, Jun. 17 My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
For more information and registration, please click here.
Each January, the acclaimed We the People competition brings together high school teams from around the state. Students demonstrate their understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take positions and ultimately defend those positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues during a simulated congressional hearing. Regional competitions in Portland, Pendleton and Eugene precede the state final, which determines the team that will represent Oregon at the national competition in Washington, D.C.
2014 WTP Competition Dates
- Jan. 15 – Region 1 We the People competition, Lake Oswego High School
- Jan. 15 - Region 2 We the People competition, Morse Federal Courthouse, Eugene
- Jan. 25 - State We the People competition – Hatfield Federal Courthouse, Portland
- Apr. 26-28 - National We the People competition – Washington, DC
Click here to register for the 2014 We the People Competition.
Grant Constitution Team Finishes First in the Nation!
Congratulations Grant High School Constitution Team for your outstanding performance at the 2013 We the People National Championship! For the second year in a row, Oregon Constitution teams have claimed first place in the nation! Read more in this Oregon Live article.
Results of the 2013 We the People State High School Competition
At the 2013 We the People State Competition, six teams from around the state faced panels of judges who quizzed students on the content, history, influence and flexibility of the Constitution. There were 36 state and federal judges, constitutional scholars, and other civic leaders. (Complete list included below.)
The schools finished in the following order:
- First Place: Grant High School
- Second Place: Lincoln High School
- Third Place: Lake Oswego High School
- Fourth Place: Franklin High School
- Fifth place: Central Catholic High School
- Sixth place: Junction City High School
“It was astounding to watch the students maintain poise and confidence throughout the entire event,” said Marilyn Cover, Executive Director of CLP. “This event is truly something to behold, and I hope to see all of these schools and more participate in next year’s competition.”
2013 Judges List
Hon. John Acosta, U.S. District Court
Hon. Tom Balmer, Oregon Supreme Court
Ms. Morgan Bennett, Grant Makers for Education
Hon. Anna Brown, U.S. District Court
Hon. Kate Brown, Oregon Secretary of State
Mr. Thom Brown, Cosgrave Vergeer & Kester
Prof. Richard Christen, University of Portland
Hon. Deanne Darling, Clackamas County Juvenile Court
Prof. Jim Foster, Oregon State University
Rep. Lew Frederick, Oregon House of Representatives
Mr. Ted Gilbert, Gilbert Bros. Coml. Brokerage Co.
Rep. Chris Gorsek, Oregon House of Representatives
Dr. Karen Gray, Superintendent Parkrose School District
Ms. Cari Harris, Enlightened Instruction
Hon. Marco Hernandez, U.S. District Court
Mr. Henry Hooper,
Hon. Karin Immergut, Multnomah Circuit Court
Mr. Noah Jarrett, Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt
Mr. Steve Johansen, Lewis & Clark Law School
Dean Robert Klonoff, Lewis & Clark Law School
Hon. Jean Mauer, Multnomah County Circuit Court
Hon. Keith Meisenheimer, Multnomah County Circuit Court, retired
Ms. Janet Neuman, Tonkon Torp LLC
Hon. Susie Norby, Clackamas County Circuit Court
Cmmr. Steve Novick, Portland City Council
Rep. Julie Parrish, Oregon House of Representatives
Mr. Steve Powers, Office of the Governor
Rep. Jeff Reardon, Oregon House of Representatives
Mr. David Reese, Portland State University
Prof. Chris Shortell, Portland State University
Mr. Robert Stafford, Westview High School
Hon. Kathie Steele, Clackamas County Circuit Court
Mr. Brian Talcott, Dunn Carney
Hon. Steven Todd, Multnomah County Circuit Court
Rep. Jennifer Williamson, Oregon House of Representatives
View the 2013 We the People hearing questions at the Center for Civic Education website http://new.civiced.org/wtp-the-program/hearings/hearing-questions.
To ensure the most qualified teams advance to the State Competition, the old District organization has been changed to a Regional approach. Click here for more information.
For more information, or to register a team, contact Classroom Law Project — firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch this video from David Douglas High School for a fun explanation of the We the People Competition.
High School – students who would like to participate in We the People, but aren’t quite ready for competition, also have an opportunity to showcase their constitutional knowledge. Demonstration Hearings are held during your district’s competition.
Elementary & Middle School – Select 5th-8th grade students have the opportunity to present We the People simulated congressional hearings to a panel of legislators, civic leaders and members of the State Champion We the People team. This event is in conjunction with Project Citizen Showcase at the Capitol where simulated congressional hearings take place the following day. Project Citizen portfolios are displayed on both days.
Click here for more information about We the People & Project Citizen Days at the Capitol.
Seeing is Believing - A We the People Workshop for High School Teachers
This dynamic workshop combines observing the highly acclaimed We the People competition in January with discussion of the curriculum, and how to get started in your school.
WHO: High school teachers using the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution textbook, teachers who wish they were, and teachers wanting to know more!
WHAT: A day-long workshop organized so that teachers observe students compete in the state finals of the We the People competition, then participate in an interactive session with other teachers to review, debrief, dissect, and learn from what was seen.
WHEN: January 2014, same day as the We the People State Competition
WHY: The We the People program is like none other. Students begin knowing little about the Constitution but leave owning it. At the culminating event – the high school competition – one school from each of Oregon’s five congressional districts competes for the right to represent Oregon at the national finals in Washington, D.C.
Teams compete in mock congressional hearings posing as experts testifying about the Constitution. Students are questioned by state and federal judges, constitutional scholars, and other civic leaders. And they respond with assuredness, authority, poise, and passion. It is unrehearsed. It is powerful. And it will knock your socks off. Registration will open in December 2013.
Previous We the People State Competition Winners
2013 Grant HS
2012 Lincoln HS (view video footage of their National Competition performance)
2011 Grant HS
2010 Lincoln HS
2009 Grant HS
2008 Grant HS
2007 Grant HS
2006 Grant HS
2005 Grant HS
2004 Grant HS
2003 Lincoln HS
2002 Grant HS
2001 Lincoln HS
2000 Lincoln HS
1999 Lincoln HS
1998 Lincoln HS
1997 Lincoln HS
1996 Lincoln HS
1995 Lincoln HS
1994 Lincoln HS
1993 Lincoln HS
1992 Lincoln HS
1991 Lincoln HS
1990 Lincoln HS
1989 Lincoln HS
1988 Lincoln HS
1987 Lincoln HS