Grant High School’s constitution team met Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the students’ April visit to Washington, D.C. The team also amassed 3,870 points in questioning about constitutional issues.
Alas, that wasn’t enough to keep the “We the People” national title in Oregon, as has been the case for four years. However, it was enough for Grant’s 32 seniors, who were state winners, to place second in the national competition. The national winners, from the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies in Richmond, Va., received 3,880 points.
“The students were, of course, crestfallen at the time,” said Michael Curtis, one of the 15 volunteer coaches who worked outside school hours with Grant’s students. “They are, however, resilient. They know that they made a remarkable achievement.”
The Grant and Lincoln teams have taken turns winning the national title in the program developed by the Center for Civic Education of Calabasas, Calif., the sponsor of the “We the People” program. Grant won in 2013 and 2015, and Lincoln won in 2014 and 2016.
The national format is a simulated congressional hearing in which students testify before a panel of lawyers, requiring them to speak extemporaneously while backing up their responses with evidence from their studies. In addition to meeting Roberts and Ginsburg, Grant students toured the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol Building, the National Archives, Arlington National Cemetery and the Supreme Court Building.