Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Next Election

Yes, I know that many folks are glad that this one is finally over (especially getting rid of the campaign ads), but I wanted to reflect briefly on one thing. I teach in a high school with students typically aged 14 to 18. Probably a hundred and fifty or so of our seniors were eligible to vote this year, and I imagine many of them did. But a thought occurred to me this morning – all of our current high school students will be eligible to vote in the next presidential election.

Think about that for just a minute. All of our approximately 2,150 students at Arapahoe – most of whom have never voted – will be eligible to vote in the 2012 elections. And all of the other 17.5 million students currently in U.S. high schools will also be eligible to vote in 2012. Which brings us to the money question (or two or three).
What are we doing to prepare these students to be engaged, intelligent, informed, and competent voters in a world that is very, very, very, very different than the one we grew up in?

How are we preparing them to be successful citizens in a publish-then-filter world?

Are we transforming our classrooms to reflect real-time, instantaneous access to factual and political information?
And I could keep going but, mercifully, I’ll stop now. But if you teach high school, or you have a student that attends high school, or you pay taxes to support high schools, or you care about democracy, I’d like you to consider one thing.

What are you going to do to make sure those 17.5 million students are prepared to be successful participants in our democracy?

Image Citation: Colorado Presidential Ballot, originally uploaded by Chris&Rhiannon.

No comments:

Post a Comment