So here is the follow up to the What My Students Believe about Politics post. For phase two students formed groups based on common ideas as discovered from isidewith.com. Students then created their own parties including name, slogan, logo, campaign platform, and 30 second commercial. They then premiered them this week in front of state representative along with a 2 minute stump speech. Overall they did a great job and I feel like the energy and interest in this project was the highest I have seen. Students definitely made an impression on the representatives. Check out their commercials and their party platforms are linked in the YouTube descriptions.
Which one is your favorite? One of these is going on to our network wide competition.
Evey year I am reminded of how important education is in the state of Michigan. I am willing to bet all of you that live in other states started school this week or earlier. Public schools in Michigan (with the exception of year round schools which are not that common) are required by law to start after Labor Day.
What is the great educational reasoning for this? Tourism, of course! In 2005 businesses and chambers of commerce lobbied to extend summer vacation through Labor Day to encourage families to travel and take vacations. House Bill 4803 was passed banning schools from starting until after Labor Day.
Now teachers can start before Labor Day so pretty much every teacher in the state had PD days this week to keep the school year from going longer into June. I guess they don’t care about teachers’ tourism money 😉
It also does not apply to sports as fall teams have been practicing for weeks and most football teams are playing their second game of the season today.
Now I don’t really know if this affects students’ learning all that much and I personally don’t care about the starting date a whole lot.
What it does show to me is how ridiculous politicians are when they meddle in education and that they are flat out liars when they say they care about kids and make decisions based on business motives. (Don’t even get me started on how our current governor has cut business taxes and school funding this year!)
So I hope everyone is off to a great start of the year and we teachers in Michigan will join you next week when we have permission from politicians and business leaders to begin.