The primary goal of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation's elementary and secondary students. What makes the program so successful is the design of its instructional program, including its innovative culminating activity. The instructional program enhances students' understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. At the same time, students discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing in which students "testify" before a panel of judges. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues. This is performance assessment in action!
Elementary and middle school level classes may conduct noncompetitive hearings in front of a classroom or auditorium-size audience with community members acting as judges. Teachers at the high school level may conduct a noncompetitive hearing, but are encouraged to participate in the nationwide competitive program. High school teams compete at a statewide hearing, and state champions travel to Washington, D.C. in the spring to represent South Carolina in the We the People national finals.
At the High School Level, there is a new online guide to supplement the curriculum. This was created by the Center for Civic Education in order to bring additional online resources to the classroom.