Philadelphia is marking Constitution Day with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the district’s new high school named for the founding document. Some 110 9th graders make up the first cohort of students at Constitution High School in downtown Philadelphia, which opened last week.
The school, which will expand by one grade per year until it spans grades 9-12, will feature a typical high school curriculum but with additional history electives. Teachers will tap into the documents and exhibits available at the nearby National Constitution Center, and follow curricula created by the center, as well as the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York City.
The official commemoration is scheduled for Sept. 18, which marks Constitution Day. Last year, Congress mandated that Sept. 17, the anniversary of the signing of the document, or the nearest school day be set aside for lessons on the U.S. Constitution. The mandate has been applauded by some advocates of civics education, but criticized by some other educators as an undue federal intrusion into curriculum decisions.
A version of this article appeared in the September 13, 2006 edition of Education Week