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Civic education programs prepare students for public life

May 26, 2010
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Letters to the Editor

To the editor:

It was all in day’s work for the 21 percent that voted in the May 4 primary. Save the 40 percent turnout for the 2008 primary, the one-in-five ratio is the decade trend for those who vote in Indiana primaries. But changes to this trend can be made by encouraging civic education in the classroom.

The Indiana Bar Foundation’s civics programs support the education of elementary, middle, and high school students in Indiana through rigorous civics curricula called “We the People” and “Project Citizen.” “We the People” educates students about the Constitution and American life, and “Project Citizen” enables students to identify a public problem and solve it through a policy-focused approach.

These programs have impact. In a 2008 American National Election Studies survey, students from these programs demonstrated greater retention of civic and political knowledge than their peers, and engaged in greater participation in government affairs.

Lawyers around the state are currently working to strengthen civic education by participating in the Bar Foundation’s “An Hour For Civics” campaign from May 1 through June 30 (www.anhourforcivics.org). So, support civics programs in Indiana and heed the call by retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter to “make civic education real again.”

____________

Bob Beasley, president
Indiana Bar Foundation, Albany, Indiana
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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