Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17th, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787. The law establishing the commemoration was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004 (PL 108-447, Div. J, Title I, section 111.) The act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day.
Teachers struggling with the selection of materials to be presented may choose the Overview of America DVD. It is about 30 minutes in length, and allows time for questions and answers after the showing. This writer is willing to provide copies of the DVD to four or more teachers who want to present it – and answer questions the students and staff may have after the showing. The DVD may be shown to audiences larger than class size, but the school would have to provide the equipment to make it happen.
One high school teacher will have the opportunity to have the class and teacher take my “Constitutional Quiz.” It consists of 51 questions with multiple choice answers. It takes 15 to 25 minutes for the average class to answer the questions. I will grade the answers, but only the responder and I will ever know their score. And they must call me to get their score. The teacher shall be given the class score. The teacher must also provide enough near future class time for me to discuss the Constitutional Quiz questions and answers with them so the responders understand which answer is correct – and why it is correct.
My credentials: Approximately 45 years studying the Constitution and supporting documentation. Master’s thesis on how well people at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base understand the Constitution. I expected to find several good Constitutional quizzes in the literature, but there was only one, the Hurst Survey, so I spent nine months to develop and validate the Constitutional Quiz.
Al Kuchinka is an area resident and guest columnist.