Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Civic Engagement Constitution Day Event: September 17th, 2009

Dear Colleague,


I’d like to invite you to the ACOE’s first major professional development of this school year, “Constitutionalism in California: A Teachable Moment.” We have put together an extraordinary panel, keynote speaker, and set of workshops exploring the current crises in California and how they shed light on larger issues around constitutions in general.


We have actively made it a wonderful opportunity as well to advance your efforts to develop student leadership – particularly, by creating a venue for student participants to engage in discussion and become involved with lthe newly-launched California Youth Constitutional Convention and Campaign. We are offering FREE admission to students AND to teachers who bring at least two of their students to the event – we encourage you to come together! Even if you come alone, though, the admission fee is only $10, and you’ll not only be part of a truly valuable experience but will also receive a plethora of resources to take back to your classroom.


Come – and tell your colleagues and friends, too!!




Avi Black
History/Social Science Coordinator
"Words That Made America" (WTMA) Project Director
Alameda County Office of Education
313 W. Winton Avenue
HaywardCA 94544
PH: (510) 670-4239
FAX: (510) 670-3239



America's Greenest School


Superintendent Sheila Jordan and Oakland City Council President Jane Brunner Present...

Constitutionalism in California:
A Teachable Moment

September 17, 2009

4:30-7:00 p.m.
Oakland City Hall
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612

Register Now ~ Seating is Limited!

Admission $10
FREE for students
FREE for teachers bringing two or more students

Refreshments served


Do constitutions really matter?
Is our constitution to blame for CA's crisis?
 Will fixing the constitution fix CA?

Join us for an informed discussion of how to bring the current debate over a proposed California Constitutional Convention into schools and classrooms as "a teachable moment".

In recognition of Constitution Day, we invite secondary school teachers and student-leaders to explore how the current constitutional crisis in California sheds light on the general nature of constitutionalism and on how a constitution contributes to the effective functioning of a democratic society.

This event is an excellent opportunity for teachers and their students to support student leadership and civic engagement.


A panel of experts will unearth key issues and parodoxes of how a constitution sets a framework to protect the rights of minorities, advance good for the majority, and to promote a shared voice for all citizens in the democratic process.

RENEE SWAYNE (moderator)
Retired educator, Oakland Unified School District
Renee Swayne will focus on how constitutional issues can impact people of color and why we should all be aware of our rights and responsibilities.

Vice President, Constitutional Rights Foundation
Marshall Croddy will provide a background on constitutionalism and a comparative history of CA and U.S. constitutions.

Professor of Government, CSU Sacramento

Jeff Lustig joins the panel to address the current constitutional crisis in CA and share information on remedies that are being advanced.

James G. March Fellow, Endowment for California Leadership

Daniela Gilbert's focus will include how constitutional issues affect youth and how youth can participate in the process of change.


KeynoteSpeakerKeynote Speaker

Davidson Professor of Education / Dean of the School of Education, Mills College
Drawing on his research on effective civic education in 19 different districts in CA, Professor Kahne will discuss how classroom opportunities and use of digital media can help students become critical thinkers actively engaged in issues shaping their communities, the state and the nation.


BreakoutSessionsBreakout Sessions

Students and teachers will have an opportunity to learn about effective civic education programs and curricula, and receive resources and sample materials for classroom use.  They will alternatively have the opportunity to learn about, and become involved in, a new Youth Constitutional Convention and Campaign initiative.

Both students and teachers may attend any of these sessions, and are encouraged to do so together or apart (to later share experiences), as they deem fit

Primarily for teachers...

  • Center for Civic Education (Suzette Ferguson)

The CCE will introduce materials and methods from its acclaimed We the People and Project Citizen programs advancing students' civic literacy.

  • Constitutional Rights Foundation (Marshall Croddy, Vice President)

For most of our history, the U.S. Supreme Court has shaped our understanding about what the Constitution means by deciding landmark cases. Learn about judicial review and become a Supreme Court Justice to help decide a landmark case.


  • Judicial Council of CA: California on My Honor Civics Institute (Fran Chadwick, Director)

In this summer program, sixty teachers statewide collaborate with judges, attorneys and other law-related personnel to study the judicial branch of government in order to develop curricula designed to increase student understanding and engagement in civics. At this session, you will discover more about the institute and how to participate in the summer 2010 program.

Primarily for students...

  • Endowment for California Leadership: CA Youth Constitutional Convention and Campaign (Daniela Gilbert and Daniil Karp, Youth Leadership Coordinators)

In this "outreach presentation", students will lead the discussion to uncover their views on change, on major issues of importance and interest to them, and of how they can lead change efforts. Participants will learn about the Youth Convention and Campaign and about how to become involved, ultimately as delegates to the convention.

Unique Holland, ACOE Communications: (510) 670-4151  Email
Avi Black, ACOE Program Coordinator: (510) 670-4239     Email

Superintendent Sheila Jordan
in collaboration with Oakland City Council President Jane Brunner presents Constitutionalism in CA
as a a resource for K-12 teachers and students






for teachers with student reservation. 

Click here to Register





California's current constitution was ratified on May 7, 1879.  It is the third longest constitution in the world. From 1911, the height of the U.S. Progressive Era, to 1986, the California Constitution was amended or revised over 500 times.




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The CalServe Network posts news and updates of interest to the service-learning field in California. News and updates are drawn from the CalServe List Serve and the National K-12 Service-Learning List Serve and various other sources.