Expansion of Government Curriculum

PRE-PROPOSAL

1. Media Artifact

Link to media artifact(s) giving background on the issue. Please list the title of the artifact(s) and then make the title(s) a link to the page in the MSC site where the artifact has been posted. You may include media artifacts made by other MSC members, if relevant, even if they are not authors of this proposal.

https://anchor.fm/joya-bailey/episodes/Media-Artifact-e6eiqb

2. Persona and POV statement

Persona:

Persona name: Juan Lopez

Age: 18 years old

School/occupation: Recent high school graduate & Works at McDonalds

Location: 

 

Quote: “Who should I vote for again??”


 

About:

 

  • Registered to vote even with no prior knowledge of learning how to

  • Easily influenced 

  • Never has had a real interest in politics

  • Parents aren’t registered voters 

  • Took a semester of government at 15 years old

  • Looks to social media for information on politics

Goals:

  • To use social media as a tool to guide him through politics

  • To finish the voting process at quickly as possible

  • To vote along with his peers, not based his own ideas

  • To be able to say he voted 


 

POV Statement:
  • User (be specific and use empathetic language, e.g., Karla, a busy and high achieving high school student…):

  • Need (identifies a need that is meaningful and includes feelings, e.g. …needs a way to feel less stress at school…):

  • Insight (incorporates your observations; often unexpected, …because there is a lot of chaos in her life and she wants to feel more calm, peace, and mindfulness in her day.):


 

3. Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.

SOLUTION 1: Extend the class to a year long course.

  • This will provide a longer time period to teach the class, therefore, more of the curriculum can be covered as such as state legislation, extensive information about learning the impacts of voting, and etc.

 

SOLUTION 2: Make the class a senior year requirement.

  • This will improve the level of interest in the course for the students. The interest level should rise because the students will be more aware of their political surroundings as a result of being older and closer to voting. This also helps because now that they are 18, they are encountering a point where the government is now having a great relevance in their life. Especially if they’re able to vote. 

 

SOLUTION 3: You have to register to vote if you are in the class and 18.

  • This will require the students to actually use the information they learn in class and apply it to their political life. Also if the goal is to have more participation from educated voters this requirement will increase the statewide percentage of young voters. 

BACKGROUND AND RESEARCH PROCESS

Context

Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:

Our proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan by improving the amount and quality of knowledge students are receiving in their government class. Our proposal will also help to improve the percentage of young educated voters in the state of Michigan.                                                 

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

We learned about the issues underlying our proposal through personal experiences. In class, we were having a discussion and there were multiple kids speaking on things that they heard, but didn’t really have serious knowledge of. We thought this was a serious problem because as seniors, we are soon going to be able to vote, which includes the next presidential election. We were appalled by the amount of people who were influenced by the people around them and the media, so we wanted to be apart of a change is being made as far as making an educated vote.

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

We did not have to do this for our proposal as our teacher adjusted the class work. 

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

https://anchor.fm/joya-bailey/episodes/Media-Artifact-e6eiqb

 

Consultations

Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcasts, etc.).

CONSULTATION 1: The first person we questioned was our schools’ government teacher. He enlightened us with the perspective of a teacher and how he feels about the amount of time he has to teach and the quality of the content. 

CONSULTATION 2: We also spoke to one of our Assistant principals who informed us on how adding classes to the school year works and provided us with a perspective of someone who was not involved in government teaching. The assistant principal completely supported our proposal and suggested more people for us to talk to about it. 

CONSULTATION 3: The final person we talked to about our proposal was the guidance counselor at our school.SHe informed us on how budgeting works in the school district, how much teachers make on average, how scheduling works and where funding comes from. Speaking to her really helped us to understand funding for our proposal.

 

Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.

Our topic coordinator provided us with numerous ideas on how to improve our proposal. They also answered multiple questions we had such as if our proposal should be Michigan focused, if we should focus on changing curriculum or time frame and who were the best sources to speak to. Overall we received a better understanding of what our proposal needed to have in order to be successful and gained confidence in the work we had already done. 

Research process:

Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit.  In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.

In brief, our research process contained a lot of elements. We had to take a significant amount of time reviewing the Michigan Curriculum and comparing our high school to several others in the state of Michigan.  We talked to our government teacher along with different figures of higher authority and incorporated those ideas as we were finding different statistics. We researched different ages and the reasons as to why they vote or don’t vote. We also researched the things that young adults have higher voting percentages in and why they vote higher upon those things (what attracts them to vote for those things). Our goal for looking this up is to back up the idea that if they have more knowledge in the things that they don’t vote for, it could allow voting to spark up in that specific area.

 

Author contributions:

Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?

Brianna Sterbenz and Joya Bailey split all of the work in half. Joya came up with the original idea based on a conversation with other students. She then told Brianna sho brainstormed some ideas and then they began planning and researching. This lead to the creation of their proposal which all of the work such as the interviews and research was done equally by both of them.

FORMAL PROPOSAL

The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, not the solution.

WHEREAS.... Students are voting being unaware of how their vote would affect the rest of their life and students vote because they are easily influenced by the media. 

WHEREAS.... Only federal government is taught and there is not enough time to teach students everything they need to know to be well educated about their government so they could go on to be an educated voter.

WHEREAS....  The class is being taught sophomore and junior year when students  do not care about the things they are being taught because it does not apply to them because they are too young to vote. 

(Add more "Whereas" clauses if necessary.)

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED....

  1. In class, a student should learn further information about what being a libral, neutral, conservitive, democrat, or republican means and take that year to decide what they are. This would allow them to be more stubborn to the media and have their own opinion. 

  2. Over the course of the year, students have more time to expand their learning and second semester will add  state government.

  3. Government will only be taught to students their senior year of high school because it would not only be more relevant to them, but apart of the class curriculum would be that the seniors who turn 18 during the school year HAVE to register to vote in order to pass. This would improve the young adult voting percentages. 

(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)

Counter-arguments:

What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1. There is not enough space in the school year in order to add another entire semester of a class.

2. There is not enough funding to extend the government class to a year rather than the current semester length it is.

3. It could mean a different class could be cut.

Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from?  Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  

The school board may object to dedicating resources to our proposal because it does not seem like an urgent issue and they will not want to put extra money into the school for a class they are already paying for.

The funding will come from the exact same place it already does. The government classes are already receiving funding.

There will be room to add the second semester of the government class because of algebra two no longer being a requirement and any extra funding needed for the extra semester of the class can come from the former math class. 

Our Proposal will cost nothing if another teacher is not needed. If another teacher is needed to teach because a semester of the class was added it would the district around 60,000 dollars. This amount of money would not be a problem if algebra two was no longer required because the money for that teacher would go to the new government teacher. 

We plan to pay for our proposed legislation by the support of the school board if needed. 


 

References:

These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Complete_MMC_FAQ_August_2014_467323_7.pdf

https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_8722-195479--,00.html

https://apps.urban.org/features/funding-formulas/

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Total votes: 10

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