AIR DATE: Thursday, January 6, 2011
Reading of the U.S. Constitution (1 hr. 30 min.)
135 Lawmakers, from both parties in the U.S. House of Representatives, took turns reading the U.S. Constitution during the opening of the second day of the 112th Congress.
KEYWORDS: Legislative Branch, House of Representatives, US Constitution

Timely Teachable Videos

Our Bell-Ringers section provides teachers and students with brief video clips of C-SPAN programming that are separated into sixteen categories commonly studied in social studies curriculums. Each clip contains a brief summary, key vocabulary terms, and related discussion questions. Registered members can view the complete list of Bell Ringers here .

Recent Bell Ringers

In 1965, Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). With this law, the federal government stepped into what had traditionally been a policy area reserved to the states: education. The law was created as part of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” and one element of the law was to provide federal funding for the education of low income students.

Over time, Congress reauthorized and amended the original ESEA to attach certain strings to those federal dollars. By 2001, the watchwords in education were measurement and accountability. That year, Congress passed a new version of ESEA called, “No Child Left Behind.” Among other things, it instituted a system of federally mandated, annual standardized tests paired with an accountability system that measured each state’s ability to educate all of its students.

Recent developments in education reform have built on this emphasis on testing. New academic standards have been adopted throughout much of the country and teacher evaluations have been increasingly tied to student test scores. A growing opposition to standardized testing has prompted some state and federal leaders to imply that funding could be withheld from schools or states that don’t comply with federal testing mandates.

Pick and choose from a variety of activities, including analysis of video clips, vocabulary, and articles. Engage your students in deliberation about the issue, and culminate the lesson with one of our suggested assessments or extension activities.

Should Congress Continue to Require Annual Standardized Tests For All Students?

For additional lessons from our C-SPAN Senior Fellows, visit:
C-SPAN Classroom Deliberations