When more than two-thirds of Americans cannot even name the three branches of government, this is something to worry about. Indeed, it poses a risk to constitutional government.
This was the topic of a recent discussion at Boston College Law School headlined by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. You can view an article on the discussion by clicking here.
Along these lines, Justice O’Connor, in cooperation with Georgetown University Law Center and has developed a Web site and interactive civics curriculum for 7th, 8th and 9th grade students called Our Courts. You can view that site by clicking here. At the ABA conference, Meryl J. Chertoff, Professor at Georgetown University Law School and Director of the Sandra Day O’Connor Project on the State of the Judiciary reported on new online learning tool. You can view that video by clicking here.
As part of my personal commitment to this effort, I have been hosting Franklin and Medway residents at the State House to provide an in depth look at what we do in the building. Residents from ages 8 to 80 have stopped by for tours and discussions with State House employees about how our government works. In addition, I have participated in the Constitution in the Classroom project at Franklin High School. Constitution in the Classroom is an effort by the American Constitution Society to bring its members into primary and secondary classrooms to raise awareness of fundamental constitutional principles.
As Thomas Jefferson once observed: “An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight. It is therefore imperative that the nation see to it that a suitable education be provided for all its citizens.” Those words are critical underpinnings to the need for greater civics instruction.
I urge you to join me in promoting civics education. If you are interested in participating in a State House tour, please contact our office by clicking here.