Pleasanton Weekly

News - February 11, 2011

Amador Valley High wins state 'We the People' competition

School will once again represent California at national finals

by Jeb Bing

Amador Valley High School captured first place in the "We the People" state finals last Friday afternoon in Sacramento.

Foothill High finished in fifth place behind Irvington High of Fremont, whose coach and teacher is Pleasanton City Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio. Finishing in second place was Centennial High School of Bakersfield followed by Arcadia (Calif.) High School.

The five schools were honored at a banquet that night in Sacramento by Congressman Tom McClintock (R-Rocklin), who was the keynote speaker.

More than 300 students from 11 high schools participated in the academic competition, which tested their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Amador Valley High School now advances to the We the People national finals, April 30-May 2, in Washington, D.C.

Students demonstrated their understanding of the Constitution before a simulated congressional committee consisting of constitutional scholars, lawyers, civic educators and government leaders who judged the classes' performances. The judges tested the students' comprehension of the six units of the "We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution" text.

Other classes also were recognized for their achievements during the awards banquet.

Officially called "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution," the program has reached more than 30 million students and 90,000 teachers since its inception in 1987. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Education for Democracy Act approved by Congress and directed by the Center for Civic Education.

"We the People classes scored 30 percent higher than matched comparison government classes on a comprehensive test that measured understanding of core values and principles of democracy, constitutional limits on governmental institutions, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship," said Karen Whitaker, program manager for the Center for Civic Education in Woodland Hills, which handles the California program,.

The competing schools and their teachers/coaches that entered this year's competition were Arcadia High School, Arcadia; Arvin High School, Arvin; Centennial High School, Bakersfield; Liberty High School, Bakersfield; Monta Vista High School, Cupertino; Granite Hills High School, El Cajon; Irvington High School, Fremont; Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, Teacher: Keldon Clegg; Foothill High School, Pleasanton, Teacher: Jeremy Detamore; Martin Luther King Jr. High School, Riverside; and Yerba Buena High School, San Jose.

"These are the best and brightest students not only in the state but in the nation," said David Richmond, the program's state coordinator. "California classes frequently place in the top 10 at national finals, including a first-place win last year by Arcadia High School."


Posted by Barb, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Congratulations, Amador We the People team! Your city is very proud of you. Work hard, and good luck at Nationals.

Posted by Agree, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Congratulations Amador! I don't think most people know how much work goes into this program..but it is sooo worth it!

What an accomplishment!

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm

No on a parcel tax. This is the way the district wastes our money.

Posted by Whut?, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 16, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Dear Resident,

Do you have any idea what the "We the People" competition is? I would submit it is the most valuable experience any high school student could possibly have. Educating young adults on civic responsibility and the meaning of our constitution is a very GOOD thing. The program receives ZERO money from the district btw. Might want to get your facts straight before commenting.

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