COMMUNICATOR UPDATE: June 2003
Welcome to The Dirksen Congressional Center's "Communicator" - a
web-based e-newsletter providing educators with news and ideas to
enhance civic education and improve the understanding of Congress --
NEWS FROM THE DIRKSEN CENTER
<<< Congratulations! >>>
The Dirksen Center congratulates teachers from all across the United
States for being selected to participate in our national, award-winning
education program, Congress in the Classroom 2003. The program is now
in its eleventh year and is dedicated to the exchange of ideas and
information on teaching about Congress.
The Center selected 33 teachers from a total of 189 applications this
year. We have invited 13 men and 20 women with classroom experience
ranging from first year to 34 years.
A list of this year's participants:
For those whom The Center did not select, we offered the option of
taking the online version of the workshop found at:
Anyone may take the course either for
information or for certification.
<<< Civic Education Grant Winners >>>
Congratulations to the following Robert H. Michel Civic Education Grants
winners for the May 2003 round of competition:
* Jeff Aas, Bemidji High School, Bemidji, MN, "Teaching with Technology:
The U.S. Constitution on CD" - funded at $2,910
* Alan Rosenthal, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers, the State
University of New Jersey, "Teaching Democracy Appreciation" - funded at
* Yvonne Marie Andes, Global SchoolNet, Encinitas, CA, "Power of the
Purse" - funded at $4,950
* Deborah Aufdenspring, MIT Academy High School, Vallejo, CA,
"Destination D.C." - funded at $3,300
* Drew E. VandeCreek, Northern Illinois University Libraries
Digitization Unit, Dekalb, IL, "Congress and Great Issues of the Gilded
Age" - funded at $5,000
Learn more about these grant projects and others at:
Do you have a project? Submit a grant proposal! For more information
about how to submit a Robert H. Michel Civic Education Grants proposal,
please visit: http://www.dirksencenter.org/grantmichelciviced.htm.
Dirksen Congressional Center intends to award $35,000 in 2004, with May
1 the deadline for proposals. If you have questions about the Robert H.
Michel Civic Education Grants, contact Frank Mackaman at
<<< Congress for Kids is Everywhere! >>>
Congress for Kids - http://www.congressforkids.net
- has recently
received recognition for design and educational excellence from such
organizations as the American Library Association, the "Journal of
Homeschooling," ClassBrain.com, FunHouse, and KidsClick!, among others.
The Dirksen Center also learned in May that the U.S. Embassy in Russia
posts a link to Congress for Kids on its Web site!
<<< The Powers of the President >>>
Representing a significant departure from the Articles of Confederation,
the Constitution established an executive branch headed by a president.
Visit The Dirksen Center's Web suite -
-- to find resources that will
help your students recognize and distinguish the president's formal and
informal powers and duties and learn more about the president's role in
the executive branch.
The Constitution grants a few specific powers to the president, in
contrast to the many powers it gives Congress. Article II of the
Constitution relates to the method of election, term and qualifications
for office, and procedures for succession and impeachment rather than
what the president can do. Find the online version of Article II on
CongressLink at: http://www.congresslink.org/artcl2.html
The president has the authority to negotiate treaties with other
nations. Teachers, do your students know about these formal
international agreements? If not, introduce them to the hyperlinked
definition of this CongressLink-hosted term at:
The president selects many people to serve the government in a wide
range of offices. More than 2,000 of these positions require
confirmation or approval by the Senate under the "advice and consent"
provision of the Constitution. Learn more about presidential
appointments. Find "Presidential Appointments - ThisNation.com" at:
The president is authorized to propose legislation. The president's
veto power is an important check on Congress. By introducing our
CongressLink featured lesson plan, students will be able to summarize
the veto and override process as outlined in the U.S. Constitution and
used by the executive and legislative branches. They will also be able
to research and graph the correlation among the political control of the
respective branches, bills introduced, and the number of vetoes and
overrides. Find "The Veto Process" at:
The power to grant pardons, except impeachment, is also given to the
president. Our AboutGovernment hot link is a comprehensive non-partisan
guide to presidential pardons and clemency actions since 1789 hosted by
the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Find "Presidential Pardons"
<<< Featured Project >>>
Presidents have signed executive agreements with other countries to
conduct foreign policy that do not require Senate action. The Supreme
Court ruled that these agreements are within the inherent powers of the
president. This month our featured project is a Congressional Research
Award of $3,479 granted to Jeffrey S. Peake from Bowling Green State
University and Glen S. Krutz from the University of Oklahoma. Their
project, "Presidential-Congressional Relations on International
Agreements, 1949-2000," seeks to explain in a systematic fashion why
presidents increasingly use executive agreements rather than treaties
and the variation in treaty ratification success in the Senate. Learn
more about this project and others at:
*NEW* Numerous limits placed on the presidency have not been sufficient
enough to prevent the powers and role of the president from expanding
dramatically over the last two centuries. The trend throughout the 20th
century has been to increase presidential powers at the expense of
Congress. Help your students learn more about the powers of the
president by introducing the interactive vocabulary practice quiz posted
on Congress for Kids. Find "The Powers of the President" at:
<<< President's Power Puzzler >>>
1. Overriding a presidential veto requires a _____ fraction of the vote
in each chamber of the Congress.
2. Why do presidents often use executive agreements rather than treaties
when negotiating with foreign powers?
A) Executive agreements don't require the assistance of the Department
of State; treaties do.
B) Executive agreements don't require Senate approval; treaties do.
C) Executive agreements can be issued in secret; treaties must be
D) Foreign powers have more confidence in America's executive
Answers to the May issue of "Fun, Facts, and Trivia" link here:
See you in July! Encourage your colleagues to subscribe to the
Communicator. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, contact
Cindy Koeppel at mailto:ckoeppel@...
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