Local High Schools Should Teach Local Government!

zoobie48's picture

Growing up, I had no idea what my rights were or how to exercise them. We need to educate our young adults on the law (national and local), how it affects them, how they can exercise their rights, and more about local (not just national) politics. When young people have a chance to wrap their head around important topics such as these, it helps them decide where they stand and become a functional and independent person. There are probably thousands of lawyers and law enforcement agencies that would stand up against this, for the almighty dollar, of course.

NKlein82's picture

We NEED Better Civics Education!

I agree we need to improve Civic Education dramatically in this state.  People come out of K-12 schools without knowing anything about how to be a citizen in this country.  The problem is that almost all innovative programs for civics education are done by private groups, so only a handful of schools are able to give their students a decent education in civics education.  

 

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bobbyh's picture

Agree with NKlein82

And to your point, its no wonder that people don't vote!  Most of the voting population is totally unaware of government and how it works, which not only means those folks won't vote, but when they do, they are less likely to be informed about the issues to all our detriment.  And we complain about big money in politics, but nobody talks about the fact that big money works because there is a huge segment of voters that are not knowledgeable about how government operates.  With more education, that money would be less effective because people would make up their minds based on facts about government and their opinion on which way they want to see the government go, as opposed to decisions based on ads with smiling faces in a nice setting with some well messaged voice overs.

Also, as much as we complain about politicians, how can we expect anything different out of our future elected leaders if we are not educating our youth about government and stimulating their passion and interest?  The answer is that we can't.  It will be the same people motivated by the same personal agendas with the same flaws that we always complain about.  Let's start with the youth and see if we can't re-engage our most critical asset in the most critical field of public service.  Our future truly depends on it.  And the good news is that its not rocket science, just a class in civics.

nblackburn's picture

agree

I agree. I was doing some phone banking earlier and several of the folks I called didn't know what the Board of Supervisors was or  what district they lived in. And if they did know their district and supervisor they oftentimes didn't know what their supervisor actually did.

It is sad that so many SF citizens don't understand the government of their own city - the best way to increase understanding is to start civic education at a young age in public schools.

zoobie48's picture

I'm glad you agree with

I'm glad you agree with me nblackburn!

NKlein82's picture

Thanks for agreeing with me

This is my biggest concern with regards to our government.  I had the same experience as nblackburn in the past.  I can't tell you how many times I have spoken with someone who did not know the difference between the federal and state government.  Civics education needs to become a priority.  As bobbyh said, if we can improve knowledge of political affairs, then we can really start to improve our government.

mattgould's picture

Love this bobbyh: "It will be

Love this bobbyh: "It will be the same people motivated by the same personal agendas with the same flaws that we always complain about.  Let's start with the youth and see if we can't re-engage our most critical asset in the most critical field of public service.  Our future truly depends on it.  And the good news is that its not rocket science, just a class in civics."

One more thing to think about: in most expensive private schools, students do receive a nice foundation on civics, ethics, politics and law. How can we expect change when the same class of people have access to the knowledge and resources required to implement ideas, while the majority is kept in the dark?

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