Monthly Constitutionals

Monthly Constitutional on Cuba

In preparation for the 8th grade's impending departure to Cuba on March 20, this month's Monthly Constitutional was devoted to learning about the island nation's political history.

Mitchell Orenstein, professor of Central and East European politics in the Slavic Department at the University of Pennsylvania and an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, shared a quick survey of Cuban political history and explained the past and current status of US and Cuban relations.

Monthly Constitutional Prep for Puerto Rico

This month's 8th grade Monthly Constitutional presenter was TPS parent Liza Rodriguez, who grew up in Puerto Rico. Her appearance was timely for two reasons. First (and most obvious), the 8th graders are now counting the days until their departure to Puerto Rico on March 20. Second, with our nation in the midst of presidential primaries, the issue of voting rights of American citizens who live in Puerto Rico is a particularly compelling at this time.

Liza spoke with the students about the political and economic history of Puerto Rico, about the island's major political parties, and about issues relating to efforts toward statehood or independence. 

Monthly Constitutionals 2015-16

We are excited to be lining up next year's Monthly Constitutional speakers!  Monthly Constitutionals are presentations to our 8th graders by scholars, attorneys, activists, and civic leaders; their presentations connect to topics related to the students' year-long study of the U.S. Constitution.

Already signed up are

  • SEPTEMBER: attorney Josh Wolson, who will share the story of lost original copies of the Bill of Rights
  • OCTOBER: UPenn Professor Campbell Grey, who will speak about how Rome became part of our nation's foundation
  • NOVEMBER: Sarah Besnoff '01, clerk at United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, will guide students in an examination of recent cases before the court
  • DECEMBER: Judge Theresa Timlin, who will lead a discussion on labor law and minimum wage
  • JANUARY: Catherine Carr, Executive Director of Community Legal Services, who will discuss civil Gideon
  • FEBRUARY: UPenn law professor Dorothy Roberts, whose topic will be privacy and the family
  • MARCH: Liza Rodriguez, Ph.D. (urban education), who will lead a discussion about statehood and Puerto Rico 
  • APRIL: State Representative Brian Sims, who will address today's civil rights issues  
  • MAY: Executive Director of the Education Law Center, Deborah Gordon Klehr, who will focus on the rights of minors