The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Former Klansman Demands that Students and Federal Employees Learn About the Constitution.

It's now the law. Via Reason:

Tucked into a massive appropriations bill approved without fanfare late last year by Congress is the requirement that every one of the estimated 1.8 million federal employees in the executive branch receive "educational and training" materials about the charter on Constitution Day, a holiday celebrating the Sept. 17, 1787, signing that is so obscure that it, unlike Arbor Day, is left off many calendars.

That's not all: The law requires every school that receives federal funds -- including universities -- to show students a program on the Constitution, though it does not specify a particular one. The demand has proved unpopular with educators, who say that they don't like the federal government telling them what to teach and that it doesn't make the best educational sense to teach something as important as the Constitution out of context.

"We already cover the Constitution up, down and around," said August Frattali, principal of Rachel Carson Middle School in Fairfax County. But, he chuckled, "I'm going to follow the mandates. I don't want to get fired."

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