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The Tea Party is Going to Judge Sum Essays

This morning I turned on Facebook and friend in Northern California was dismayed to see that the Tea Party would be hosting an essay contest in her town. Actually it was at her child’s middle school. She felt like middle school was too young for politics and there I disagree because both of my children are made to follow this election cycle as part of their middle school curriculums. What I think she meant was that middle school students were too young to have outside influences on their politics and that it should be taught by educators without bias. That is a sentiment with which I heartily agree.

I’m not certain that a Tea Party sponsored essay contest is problematic in public education. It seems at though political groups sponsor all sorts of contests including an essay contest by the El Dorado Dems with prizes starting at ten times what the Tea Party is offering.

I have one great concern about this contest. How will the Tea Partiers of El Dorado Hills know when a student has used an apostrophe correctly?





US Constitution Essay Contest

Information and Rules


For Constitution Month the Tea Party Patriots of El Dorado Hills are offering an Essay Contest that addresses a fundamental principle of the US Constitution.  We have aligned our contest with Constitution month in the schools and the local library.  We have worked hand in hand with the El Dorado Hills library and coordinated our efforts to support you in this contest.  The goal of this contest is for students to utilize the resources provided by their school and the local library to write this essay.


The Contest will be held at three schools, Oak Ridge High School, Marina Middle School and Rolling Hills Middle School.  Three prizes will be given away at each school, a Grand Prize, Second Place Prize and Third Place Prize at each school.  The prize money will be the same at each school. 

Grand Prize: $100                                       Second Place: $75                                           Third Place: $25

Essay Question

The Middle School Question

What is the difference between a republic and a democracy?

The High School Question

Why do you believe our Forefathers choose a republican form of government for our country versus a democracy?  Please focus your paper on the differences between the two and why our Forefathers chose a republican versus a democracy.

Resources Available to You:

The El Dorado Hills Library will have a research day every Friday in September (after school) and all afternoon on Saturday, September 15th will be dedicated to helping students find the resources they need to answer the essay questions.

The El Dorado Hills Library will also have a guest speaker, Dr. Beeman of the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Beeman will discuss the essay question in his presentation at Oak Ridge High School on September 24th.  Please contact the library for more information on the time and exact location at Oak Ridge.


Essay Contest Rules

1. All entries must be submitted by email to: [email protected]  (All submissions have to be an attachment to your email.)  Microsoft Word or PDF is the preferred format for submission

                  a. No Entries will be accepted after midnight on September 30th.

2. All Essays must be an original work.  Plagiarizing even one sentence will result in the essay being withdrawn from the contest.

                  a. All essays will be submitted to Turn It to be checked for plagiarism after submission.

3. All work from other sources included in your essay must be properly cited.  Contestants can choose whatever recognized system of citation that they desire.  But any work in the essay that is not the contestants work must be cited or it will be considered plagiarism.

                  a. Please refer to Noodle for assistance in creating citations.

4.  All essays will be evaluated based on the rubrics that can be found at:

 Two readers will score each essay.  The two scores will be averaged to assign the essay its final score.  The three essays from each school with the highest scores will receive the prizes accordingly.

5.  All winners will be contacted by no later than October 12th. The prize money will be awarded shortly after October 12th.

6. Each contestant can only submit one essay. 


Format That Your Paper Must Be Submitted In:

Your School Name                                                                                                 Your Name

Your Grade                                                                                                    Your Email Address

Yes/No my name can/’t be submitted to the press if I win the contest.                   Evening Phone Number


Title of Essay

Your Essay