Let freedom ring

Our ability to defend — intelligently and thoughtfully — what we as a nation hold dear depends on the knowledge and understanding of what we hold dear. —Diane Ravitch

The good news is that 5% of all the schools in the United States that officially celebrated Constitution Day on Monday were in Minnesota.

The bad news is that only 42 schools celebrated Constitution Day nationwide. That's not even one per state.

Fortunately, Minnesota's Academic Standards for Social Studies specify that students, beginning in the earliest grades, become familiar with our founding documents, including the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence:
Grades 9-12 Standard: The student will understand the foundation of the American government and nation.

Grades 9-12 Benchmarks:

1. Students will identify and explain the basic principles that were set forth in the documents that declared the nation's independence (the Declaration of Independence, inalienable rights and self-evident truths) and that established the new nation's government (the Constitution).

2. Students will describe and evaluate the major achievements and problems of the Confederation period, and analyze the debates over the Articles of Confederation and the revision of governmental institutions that created the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the interpretive function of the Supreme Court.

3. Students will describe and explain the emergence of the first American party system.

Still, let's see if we can at least double the number of Minnesota schools that celebrate Constitution Day next year.