The Advocates- 8-9-07

The Advocates on WVOX – AM Radio 1460-


Thursday morning August 9, at 9:00 am, I am hosting a show called “The Advocates” on WVOX- 1460 AM on your dial, or live streaming at  One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio. The program this week will have as its guest Mr. Paul Court, the long-time lead Social Studies teacher at Mount Vernon High School. Paul, a native son of Mount Vernon, and a teacher there for 27 years has helped me immeasurably with the Jon Breen Scholarship Fund.


Meanwhile the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current “public policy “ issues. The United States Constitution, ratified in 1789 is the framework of our laws. But “public policy” is the amplification of that framework of our laws. In other words, new laws are always being written and old laws are always being challenged. Eventually these challenges reach the Supreme Court for “Constitutional testing.” Out of those tests rulings either re-affirm or change law. Out of these changes, “public policy can shift dramatically, but the arguments, pro and con, can remain with us for many years.


“Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow. Over the years the “public policy” of the United States has changed or has been modified greatly. As an example, “free public education” is the public policy of the United States. Also, over time great struggles have ensued over the control of the direction of “public policy” For example: free trade vs. protectionism, slavery vs. emancipation, state’s rights vs. Federalism, and an all-volunteer armed forces or the “draft.”


This morning Paul and I will discuss some of the following aspects of teaching American History, how as it changed over the last quarter century, is it relevant to today’s young people, are young people being inspired to public service through the teaching of American history, and should we return to the teaching of civics? Tune in and see what Paul Court has to say about the future of education and how it is taught!


Richard J. Garfunkel

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