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2006 Ron Paul Chapter 34
11 May 2006
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2006 Ron Paul 34:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Calhoun High School (CHS) of Port Lavaca, Calhoun County, TX. On January 6–7, 2006 the CHS advanced government class, taught by Gennie Westbrook, traveled to Austin to participate in the Texas State final meet for We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution. Calhoun High School ranked second of the seven schools participating in the meet, which is the highest rank yet achieved by a CHS class. In 1995, 2002, and 2003, the CHS class placed third. Students participating in the state contest were Holly Batchelder, Matthew Boyett, Ryan Cardona, Kenneth Chang, Karl Chen, Andrew Delgado, Carlos Galindo, Julio Herrera, Paul Jenkins, Brian Kao, Dustin Lambden, Kayla Meyer, Jake Prejean, and Thomas Reagan.
2006 Ron Paul 34:2
Twenty-two CHS juniors accompanied the group as observers. We the People alumnae who also accompanied the group to assist as guest judges for practice times were Jessica Davenport, John Westbrook, Bobby Van Borssum, Redford Hong, William Krause, and Jason Fite.
2006 Ron Paul 34:3
Local community members who helped the class in their weekly practice sessions after school were Connie Hunt and Assistant District Attorney Shannon Salyer, who have worked with each years class for several years. Others who assisted the class in preparation this year included District Attorney Dan Heard, Assistant District Attorney Pat Brown, and Texas A&M aerospace PhD student Darren Hartl.
2006 Ron Paul 34:4
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is a nationally acclaimed civic education program focusing on the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. In addition to the requirements of the standard government class, students in this program must master a rigorous curriculum in the background and philosophy of the U.S. Constitution. They participate in oral assessment that involves both prepared and extemporaneous responses to challenging questions. In this nationwide competition, students play the role of experts in the Constitution, testifying before a mock Congressional hearing. Among other criteria, students are evaluated on their depth of knowledge, ability to apply academic data to current problems, and understanding of landmark Supreme Court cases. Teams of three students each present a four-minute prepared testimony to answer questions they have researched all semester, and then they respond to extemporaneous follow- up questions from the judges for another six minutes. Judges at the state contest include practicing attorneys, university professors, historians, and legislative staff members.
2006 Ron Paul 34:5
In 2001, the Center for Civic Education conducted a survey of We the People alumnae, focusing on voting and civic participation. Among the former students, 82 percent reported that they voted in the November 2000 election. In addition, 77 percent had voted in previous elections. By contrast, the National Election Studies reported 48 percent turnout in the November 2000 election by other respondents aged 18–30. Research also indicates that participation in We the People programs helps encourage greater interest in politics and public affairs, increased involvement in government decision making at all levels, greater willingness to respect the opinions and rights of others, and better preparation for the privileges and responsibilities of democratic citizenship. More information about the program may be found at the Center for Civic Education website, http://www.civiced.org/wethepeople.php.
2006 Ron Paul 34:6
We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution is the Advanced U.S. Government class available every fall to Calhoun High School seniors. The first place team from each state traveled to Washington, D.C. for the National Final Competition on April 29–May 1, 2006. McAllens Lamar Academy team, taught by LeAnna Morse, won first place this year in Texas, and her class often receives Honorable Mention as one of the top 10 schools at the national final meet.
2006 Ron Paul 34:7
Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate teacher Gennie Westbrook, the students of Calhoun High School and all the others participating in this important effort.