Welcome to The Dirksen Congressional Center's "Communicator" - a web-based e-newsletter providing educators with news and ideas to enhance civic education and improve the understanding of Congress: www.webcommunicator.org.
News from the Dirksen Center
Robert H. Michel Civic Education Grants
DEADLINE: October 1, 2002
The Dirksen Congressional Center invites applications for grants totaling $50,000 in 2001-2002 to help teachers, curriculum developers, and others improve the quality of civics instruction, with priority on the role of Congress in our federal government. Areas of interest include designing lesson plans, creating students activities, and applying instructional technology in the classroom.
Final proposals must be submitted by no later than October 1, 2002.
Complete information about eligibility and application procedures can be found at The Center's Web site. The Center does not provide an application form. You may find it helpful to review the sample grant proposal.
MiddleWeb - Exploring Middle School Reform
Congress for Kids - http://www.congressforkids.net - received a citation from "MiddleWeb - Exploring Middle School Reform" and was listed as the "Hot Link of the Week." Find this Web site at http://www.middleweb.com/.
In the September 6 issue of "Scholastic News"
http://teacher.scholastic.com/newszone/snsenior.asp -- Congress for Kids is recommended as a related Web site.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND CIVIL RIGHTS
Remaining as one of the most debated topics in civil rights is
affirmative action. The Dirksen Congressional Center's Web suite
contains resources about this concept which refers to a broad range of
programs that are intended to correct for the past effects of
The 1960s marked a period of intense activity by the federal government
to protect minority rights. The 1964 Civil Rights Act was a landmark in legislative attempts to improve the quality of life for African Americans and other minority groups. Read the CongressLink narrative, "A Case History: The 1964 Civil Rights Act," describing the process by which the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law. Find this narrative at http://www.congresslink.org/civil/essay.html#open.
In a controversial 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in "Regents of
the University of California v. Bakke" (1978) that setting aside a specific number of places in a medical school class for minorities violated both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fourteenth Amendment. Teachers, on our AboutGovernment site you will find a site that was developed to provide teachers with a full range of resources and activities to support the teaching of this landmark Supreme Court case, among others. Find "Landmark Supreme Court Cases - Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)" at http://www.aboutgovernment.org/judicialbranch.htm#supremecourt.
Do your students know certain characteristics of the membership of
Congress, such as ethnicity, age, gender, race, and political party affiliation? If not, introduce our CongressLink lesson plan, "How Representative is Congress?" This lesson will help students determine if Congress is representative of the public as a whole and will help them gain an understanding of the sociopolitical and sociological nature of Congress, an important aspect of "representation." Find this featured lesson plan at:
To test your knowledge about affirmative action and other civil rights
issues, take the online interactive 3-tiered multiple-choice self-quiz
posted on our Congress for Kids site. Find "Civil Rights Self-Quiz" at: http://www.congressforkids.net/games/makinglaws/2_makinglaws.htm. You only get one chance to answer each question and you must pass each quiz to advance to the next level.
The Dirksen Center is a proud supporter of the fourth annual America's
Legislators Back to School Week - September 16-20, 2002 -
www.ncsl.org/public/backsch.htm. Sponsored by the National Conference
of State Legislatures, this program is designed to teach young people
about what it is like to be a state legislator. In 2001, The National
Conference of State Legislatures (Denver and Washington, D.C.) received
a Robert H. Michel Grant of $4,100 from The Dirksen Center for their
project entitled "Lesson Plans to Support America's Legislators Back to
School Week." Through NCSL's Trust for Representative Democracy
project, they produced online lesson plans for grades 4-12 about
representative democracy, online support materials, and online
evaluation instruments. This project was completed in September 2001
and the results are posted at:
http://www.ncsl.org/public/trust/lessonplans.htm. NOTE: If you open at
the NCSL home page, register as a "Public User." To learn more about
this project and others funded by The Center visit:
1.The "Regents of the University of California v. Bakke" (1978)
decision allowed affirmative action to promote diversity but permitted
race to be only one factor among many used to make college enrollment
decisions. Programs could not create _____ specifying the number of
African-Americans who would be admitted.
2.In the "Regents of the University of California v. Bakke" (1978) the Supreme Court held that a university medical school, in admitting
A) use quotas for blacks and whites
B) use quotas for men and women
C) take gender into account
D) take race into account
Possible Essay Question:
Review the debate between those who favor equality of results and those
who favor equality of opportunity. Have your students state and defend
their position on the issue.
Answers to August's issue of "Fun, Facts, and Trivia" link here:
Welcome back, teachers! Encourage your colleagues to subscribe to the
Communicator. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, contact
Cindy Koeppel at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Your feedback makes a difference!
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The Dirksen Congressional Center
301 South Fourth St., Suite A
Pekin, IL 61554
Phone: (309) 347-7113
Fax: (309) 347-6432
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