Monday, June 26, 2006

Gov. Granholm Falls Short of Civic Requirements by Akindele Akinyemi

You must be joking.

Gov. Granholm is bloating all across the state about the new high school requirements she signed into law. It states the following from her so-called Jobs Today/Jobs Tomorrow website:

With the bipartisan support of the State Board of Education and the Michigan Legislature, the new curriculum became law in April 2006, giving Michigan among the most demanding high school standards in the nation. All Michigan high school students will be required to take a full complement of math, science, English and other courses to earn their diplomas. Students must also meet a first-in-the-nation requirement for on-line learning to prepare for the kind of learning they are certain to encounter in the workplace.

The Governor also points out the following:

Beginning next year, all Michigan high school students will take a college entrance exam to encourage more students to continue their education. She is also working to protect children from bullying, provide parents with prompt direct notification when their children fall behind in school and require all new teachers to learn effective ways to maintain discipline in the classroom.

I thought the Governor was a attorney not an educator.

I have to ask this question. If the requirements are suppose to be competitive then why are students only required to take 1/2 credit of civics in the classroom?

Here is the problem.

I am campaigning for a few candidates who are running for state office in Detroit. Oftentimes, I ask the candidate(s) to ask constituents what would the like to see happen in Lansing if they are elected to office. Most voters told us they would like to see their bulk trash pickup service reactivated. Some said clean up the streets. Others were totally clueless of what is the function of a state representative.

ALL of this is unacceptable.

My research points to the lack of civic education that our people are not exposed to in K-12 education. Therefore, by the time our students graduate from high school they would have only been exposed to a .5 credit of civic education. This is not sufficient enough for a potential voter to interpret issues on a ballot, debate issues effectively and make a intelligent decision on who is the best candidate for the job they are seeking.

High school students need two years of civic eduation not 1/2 semester. One year of civic education must be devoted to learning the basics of government (the three brances of governement as well as the basics of voting). The second year of civics must be totally devoted to learning public policy. This includes mock drafts of bills, debate and desigining policies that legislators can possibly adopt.

So while Gov. Granholm is signing half-bills into law let us remember who are the real victims of this bill.

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