Lesson Plan: The Role of the Federal Government in Education

9th and 10th Amendment

Author Richard Brookhiser explains the Bill of Rights.


In this lesson students will view clips on some educational policies over the past thirty years and work to identify intended and unintended outcomes of these policies. Through these clips, students will work to evaluate the effectiveness of the educational policies enacted by the National Government and through an extension activity reflect on how these policies have impacted their own education and determine how these policies could be improved or modified for future students.


  • Students can use the accompanying handout to take notes as they view the videos in this lesson.

    Handout: Educational Policy (Google Doc)

  • Step 1:

    To start the discussion on who should make educational policy or if education is a right, students need to have an understanding of the 9th and 10th amendments. Have students watch the following clip to get a description of the amendments.

    Video Clip 1: Ninth and Tenth Amendments (1:00)

    After watching the video clip; either as a class, small groups, or individuals, have students come up with examples of the 9th and 10th amendment. Use the following tasks to guide students' discussion.

    • Have students think if Education is a Right - is this something guaranteed by the 9th Amendment?
    • Discuss how education fits into the 10th Amendment- does the national government have power to make educational policy?
  • Step 2:

    Students will watch clips about different educational policies that address the intended and unintended outcomes of these policies. As students watch the videos, they should take notes on the Educational Policy Handout, identifying outcomes of the policy.

  • Step 3:

    Students should use their notes to provide a written response to the following prompt:

    • What role should the national government have in Educational Policy?
  • Extension Activities:

    Ask students to consider the notes they took while viewing the videos and during class discussion then have students formulate an opinion on who should make educational policy. Students can demonstrate their opinion through:

    • Class-wide Socratic Seminar, using some of the articles as additional resources in the discussion.

    • Students write to local, state, or national legislatures on educational policies.

    • Have students research school funding and propose a plan for an equitable distribution of resources.

Additional Resources


  • Absenteeism
  • Allocate
  • Common Core
  • Congressional Reauthorization
  • Consensus
  • Criteria
  • Dependent
  • Economic Stimulus
  • Education Reform
  • Equity
  • Every Student Succeeds Act
  • Federal Government
  • Grant
  • Implementation
  • Incentives
  • No Child Left Behind
  • Poverty
  • Race To The Top
  • Remedial Courses
  • School District
  • Secondary Education
  • Secretary Of Education
  • Standardized Testing
  • Standards
  • Statute
  • Supplemental
  • Teacher Evaluation
  • Teacher Union
  • Title I


EducationFederalism and State Issues


High SchoolUniversity