Advisory Council for Career & Technical Education for New York City

Forest Hills HS Students Are New York State Constitutional Law Champions


Last Saturday, a team from Forest Hills High School (pictured above) won First Place in the New York State Finals of the We the People constitutional law competition sponsored in part by the New York State Bar Association. Second Place was won by the James Madison High School team, this year’s New York City winner. The Forest Hills students will go on to the National Finals April 25-28 on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Now in its 27th year, the We the People Program takes the form of simulated congressional hearings n which students testify as constitutional experts. From the web site:

Each hearing begins with a four minute opening statement by students and is followed by a six minute period of follow-up questioning during which judges probe students’ depth of knowledge, understanding, and their ability to apply constitutional principles. The format provides students an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles while providing the seventy-two judges with an excellent means of assessing students’ knowledge and application to historical and current constitutional issues.

Test your own knowledge of the constitution by downloading a PDF of the Hearing Questions. A sample question: What is the relationship, if any, between the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, natural rights philosophy, and the Declaration of Independence?

Law-related CTE programs at 36 high schools around the city get technical support from the NYC DOE’s Justice Resource Center.