It’s likely that the school election just ended at your school, or maybe it hasn’t started or you may not have it at all. School elections can be different depending on how your school does it, and what your student body is like. The main differences may even just lie in if you’re in high school or middle school.
Whatever you may believe, school elections are usually a different experience for everyone, like how seriously you may take it or if you just want to be popular.
Some may believe that it’s a waste of time, or others may see it as a great opportunity. School elections are meant to be an example of our very real democracy, so ideas about it may vary a lot. It also may reflect on how students will think about elections later in life — which could be a variety of things.
“It was kind of scary,” said Kaylee Cavender, who had run for student body vice president at Horace Mann Middle School. She was running against Alex King, who had won. Cavender said that she doesn’t believe that the school election is anything more than a popularity contest.
“All the boys voted for Alex. Half the girls voted for me, then there were half of the girls in the seventh.” While it may just be a vote of who is liked the most, for others it can be a learning experience.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the 2018 Brown Center Report on American Education, scores in civics and social studies is significantly lower than math and reading scores. So much attention has been put to math and reading test scores, learning about civics and history hasn’t been as dominant of a subject as it should.
Hours in first through sixth grade that are spent on history and social studies have been dropping. As of 2003-04, hours spent on the subjects dropped by about two on average in most schools. They dropped by about three hours in schools during 1999-2000.
There have been alarming gaps in the scores, and progress is mostly steady and occasionally rising. It’s evident in American education that geography, history, social studies and civics aren’t strong points. Why is this important? Well, school elections can help change that.
“It was actually pretty fun,” Cavender said. “Like it got you pretty hyped up.”
She thought that running for vice president was a fun experience, even though she didn’t win.
School elections can be fun, and done the right way, educational. School elections can be a way to teach students about democracy in an interactive fashion, and maybe even get kids interested in politics. Running a campaign, even if a person doesn’t win, can teach the way of democracy and even if it doesn’t, make someone interested or just have fun.
School elections have the potential to become a fun way of learning about civics and getting students interested in the real world. While right now it may not seem that way, if changed correctly, it could be to everyone’s advantage. School elections could become something more than a popularity contest and become better for everyone.