Education Week - October 31, 2018 - 1

Education Week
VOL. 38, NO. 11 * OCTOBER 31, 2018

AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2018 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 6 


After the Storm,
Picks Up Pieces
Florida Leader Leans on Experts
To Open Schools After Hurricane
By Denisa R. Superville

Citizen Z:
Portrait of
The Education Week Research Center in September
surveyed a nationally representative sample of
1,339 18- and 19-year-olds who have never taken
part in a general election.

We asked these potential voters: Which of the
following best describes your registered affiliation?

1.2 Third Party



Ryan McCrossin, an 18-year-old student at the University of Alaska in
Anchorage, plans to cast his first ballot in a general election next
week-if he can squeeze in the time between morning-to-night classes.

Is America's Next
Generation of Voters
Ready for the Job?
By Alyson Klein
Erin Mortensen and Leonardo DuPlooy can't wait to cast their
first-ever votes this November-for very different reasons.



Callie Richmond for Education Week

Wewahitchka, Fla.


Not registered
to vote


SOURCE: Education Week Research Center, 2018

Jim Norton picked his way through the damp floor
at Wewahitchka High School, where Hurricane Michael's winds had spirited away part of the school's
roof, leaving behind exposed wires, a mushy mix of
white ceiling tiles on the dark carpet, and a clear
view of the sky above.
A dozen workers in red shirts were trying to sweep
up the mess. But despite the best intentions, crisisresponse experts deployed here to help advised
against the instinct to launch a quick cleanup effort
at that site.
"There is no point in them being here," Jaime Torrens, the chief facilities officer for the Miami-Dade
County school system, told Norton, the superintendent of the Gulf County school system in Florida's
Panhandle, who was seeing the hurricane-damaged
high school for the first time since the storm hit on
Oct. 10.
Instead, Torrens advised Norton, put a temporary
tarp on the building and move the cleanup crew to
the town's elementary school, which the superintendent had already decided would open within a few
days for elementary and secondary students.
The elementary school still had broken glass in a
classroom, ceiling insulation on the floor, and a damaged perimeter fence that had collapsed under the
weight of two pine trees. But it had an intact roof,
was dry and it was relatively unscathed compared to
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Colorado Ballot Measure
Tests Voters' Appetite
For Higher K-12 Funding

DuPlooy, a high school student in rural Hammond, La., wants to support
candidates who will have President Donald Trump's back. Mortensen, a
college student in Utah, is looking for a change in direction.
"I see a lot of things happening in the country that I'm not very
happy about," she said, ticking off Trump, climate change, and gun
violence as prime examples.
First-time voters like DuPlooy and Mortensen are coming of political age
in an era of deep partisan division, immersed in a social-media swirl of information and misinformation. Some have high praise for their K-12 civics
teachers. But others say their high school government courses didn't give
them all the tools they need to make educated choices at the polls-or to
understand where people on the other side of the debate are coming from.
A little more than a third of 18- and 19-year-olds who participated in
an online survey by the Education Week Research Center in September
said they had never taken a stand-alone civics class. Yet students who
took those courses were more likely to say they plan to vote. Just a
quarter of people who have never taken a standalone civics class plan
to vote. Nearly twice as many do not, said Holly Kurtz, the research
center's director. The survey, conducted with support from the Education Writers Association, includes a nationally representative sample
of 1,339 18- and 19-year-olds who have never taken part in a general
election. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.
Thirty-one percent of the respondents said they were Democrats, 25 percent Independents, and 20 percent Republicans. Twenty-three percent said
they were not registered to vote.
About 60 percent of those surveyed said they plan to vote in the 2018

Only a few months had passed since the Thompson school district's board voted to shutter two elementary schools, a desperate move to balance the
16,000-student system's dwindling budget.
So it was with much more urgency and pep on a recent Saturday morning that dozens of parents, teachers, and local education officials rallied voters here
to back two local initiatives and one statewide ballot
measure for higher taxes and spending they hope will
at least slow a decade of fiscal bleeding.
"It's not fair that our students don't get new textbooks or new technology or that we lose so many
of our teachers after four years," said school board
member Pam Howard, whose district stretches 300
square miles between Fort Collins and Denver along
the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. "I think people
are finally realizing that we're not really kidding
around. These budget cuts are serious, and they're
having real impact on our kids."
In the final stretch leading up to this year's midterm elections, hundreds of teachers across Colo-

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By Daarel Burnette II
Loveland, Colo.

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