Nov 24, 2008

Howell High School We the People team wins again

Howell High School students from teacher Mark Oglesby's senior government class won the "We the People" 8th Congressional District Competition over Mason High School on Friday.

We the People is a nationwide program developed by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center For Civic Education. The group’s s mission is to foster the development of informed, responsible citizen participation in civic life. The actual program is based on materials developed by the center, and the program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The competition is fairly simple, but the knowledge the students demonstrate is inspiring. Students are divided into teams of three to six students, and the teams demonstrate their knowledge of various areas of the U.S. Constitution before three judges made up of community leaders from the community and across the state in a format that resembles a Congressional hearing. They are then graded on a variety of areas, such as knowledge, reasoning, presentation and participation.

Oglesby has been the district's coordinator for a number of years, and his teams have been very successful at the annual state competition in Lansing. Over the past three years, Howell has finished third at the state competition. This year's state competition is set for Jan. 9 in Lansing, usually at the Lansing Center. Oglesby has left nothing to chance this year, and he has set up three practice competitions before the state competition using local attorneys, educators, judicial experts and community leaders.

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