Youth to blog about California ballot measures

image courtesy of Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice

A group of high school kids will spend their day tomorrow in downtown Oakland, learning about measures on the Nov. 4 ballot that affect youth: Prop. 4 (parental notification), Prop. 6 (law enforcement funding), and Prop. 8 (same-sex marriage ban) at the Youth + Power = Change conference. It’s organized by Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice which supports abortion rights.

The conference will focus on electoral organizing, and youth will be blogging from the conference. Want to hear what these kids think about the ballot initiatives you might be voting on? Starting tomorrow, you’ll be able find their posts on the Smashcast blog.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Nextset

    Another involvement of teens in propaganda. Well, it’s a free country and if they and their families are interested in the subject matter, good for them I suppose. As I’ve said earlier I’m very opposed to public schools using teens in partisan & political activity, but I do believe the schools should expose teens to the political process as part of the education program. There is a difference.

    In an educational program the students would be exposed to and be expected to understand the issues and support of both sides of a question – especially the questions that seem one sided. Individual choice is something that comes later in the maturation process, prior to that is just indoctrination.

    When I see pap about how children are “learning about measures on the Nov. 4 ballot…” I have little doubt that really means they are to be indoctrinated to the leftist/socialist/collectivist point of view and taught that no one but the devil could oppose it. There is never any room for dissent or for debate in these situations. if you try, you are usually given failing grades and gotten rid of. (Or is that just in College?)

    I have had friends who were sucked into Synannon – When I was at UC I saw people from the dorm dissapear into the Moonies. I didn’t known anyone at Jonestown but I have noticed the glassy eyed young women at the local republician dinner meeting when I fell into one once. I think they were probably softened up in public school for these cults.

    Brave New World.

  • John

    Hmmmm, When I first saw the picture of girls with the flowers I thought I’d be reading about flower arranging instead of student arranging.

    I guess I’ve spent too much time in Japan.

  • Sue

    Um, Nextset, you’re speculating about what’s going on in an organization you know nothing about – again.

    I checked all the web-links in the original post – I found nothing that supports your views.

    No links to any schools, or anything related to any public school system. You saying, “I’m very opposed to public schools using teens in partisan & political activity” makes no sense. It’s not happening.

    Breaking up into small groups to read and discuss various state-wide propositions is described in the ACRJ website and on the smashcast site. Neither description sounded like “pap”, or “indoctrinated to the leftist/socialist/collectivist point of view.”

    I also found nothing to support your belief that only one side of the propositions were discussed or presented. “There is never any room for dissent or for debate in these situations,” seems like a completely biased and unfair condemnation based on your own belief system and nothing else.

    No facts, no materials from the training, no quotes from any of the principals or participants. Just you making up whatever you felt like, and posting it here as if you had attended and knew what had been presented and how it was presented – something that is obviously impossible since the event was held on Saturday, and your post is dated Friday.

  • Nextset

    Sue: It’s a education blog… Educational policy? Tell us more.

    By the way, have you seen the story over on Fox about Obama Youth?

  • Sue

    So, where’s the connection? I still don’t see anything to connect ACRJ to “public schools using teens in partisan & political activity” – those are your words.

    If you can’t defend your words because you now realize that you misspoke, it’s okay to admit it on a blog. It’s not a court room and owning up to your misstatements won’t lose your client’s case here.

    As for “Fox” and “Obama Youth” – seems like just another one of your off-topic attempts to distract. If you could have answered *anything* in my previous posting, you would have.

  • Mimi Ley

    Well as a person that was at the conference….I got a lot of good compliments like good job it was really fun and stuff like that. I was very happy to hear that coming from other youth. They said there should be another conference like this next year too. I thought it was super fun! I learned a lot. Like with the whole workshops, I learned more bad stuff that would’ve happened if the props did pass and that made me wanna vote “no” on it even more. I expected people to get more information about the props from this conference. So that the youth that wanted to make a difference in saying no could ask a person who can vote to vote for them. I thought a lot of people learned a lot. They left the conference proud and had something new in their head to think about. I’m so glad we all got through everything. :]

  • Celia

    I was also at the conference and I felt like the youth there were able to gain a new insight on the propositions. They would say things like “I never knew that” “Oh wow, really?” That seems like they really learned something and the conference was meant to teach the youth. I think the conference was a great idea and I got the impression from the youth there that they hope for another conference next year. If there is, I can’t wait to go either!

  • Nextset


  • John

    “Youth + Power = Change conference” = Public Schools + Leftest Oriented Teachers = Youth “faced with (proposition related) statistics and large vocabulary, (making) it far more difficult to understand these potentially damaging propositions” without teacher’s help?

    “Potentially DAMAGING PROPOSITIONS.” Yep, someone is helping them make up their growing young minds about these propositions!

    Perhaps a special adult helper able to chew up “statistics and big vocabulary words” and spit (translate) them into a bowl of student mush for regurgitation in the student blogasphere?

    I’m thinking extra credit teacher assisted thinking assignment. Naah! Probably just helpful parents educating their daughters about (among other proposition things) the damaging effects of parents being told their daughter is pregnant. Yeah, that’s probably it.

  • Sue

    Yes. I was struggling yesterday for a term – I just couldn’t think of it. This morning when I woke up, the phrase ‘asserting facts not in evidence’ was in my head.

    Is there any evidence, John and Nextset, that supports your assertions?

    I see the posts from Mimi Ley and Celia, as *possibly* indicative of the content. Still, nothing that supports a supposed connection to public school policy.

  • John

    Sue, Like I said, it’s “probably just helpful parents educating” their kids about the propositions, etc.

    My quarter century of public school teaching and union exposure left me with the likely misguided notion that students are subject to a healthy left of center brain feed and wash.

    Not to worry! At some distant point in time, aided by fading memory and other age related tranquilizations, I’ll achieve a conforming sense of unfounded pride in ‘believing’ I once participated in a profession professing the importance of considering both sides of a social issue before coming to an independent conclusion about what’s best for ones GPA.

    Please be patient with me Sue.

  • Sue

    I never said that you were incorrect – there’s no evidence of that either. That’s the problem – No evidence.

    So, some people, based on nothing at all (no evidence), start making unfounded assertions. I said that I’d followed the links in the original article. I looked for evidence, and I couldn’t find it. I don’t know what was taught, but apparently you and Nextset somehow have that knowledge – psychicly, maybe?

    The problem I’m having is the assertions (maybe accusations would be a more accurate description?) based on whatever-it-is that rattles around inside the poster’s skull, without any questioning of assumptions. Maybe those assumptions are right most of the time. Maybe the assumptions are right this time too. But nobody knows.

    My point is simply that maybe your assumptions are wrong sometimes, and it’s just possible that this could be one of those times. Certainly, Nextset’s accusation that this non-public-school organization is promoting public school policy was off-base. More likely, a non-profit group would sponsor training for teens that it felt the public schools were *failing* to provide. I’ve served on the board of a non-profit, and we didn’t try to duplicate what others (i.e. non-profits or schools) were already doing. We looked for what wasn’t getting done, and that’s the needs we tried to meet.

    By the way, John, do you think if I had put 25 years into teaching, my skills at sarcasm would approach your level of effortlessness? I can’t help thinking that you must have left that career because your students couldn’t understand and follow their lessons anymore.

  • John

    Sue I never said you said I said I was “incorrect.” Whew!

    You claim I claim “unfounded assertions.” Nothing incorrect about that, just another “nobody knows right or wrong assertion” I suppose.

    You “can’t help thinking (I) must have left (teaching) because students couldn’t understand and follow their lessons anymore.” Where in your “skull” is that unfounded assertion (“psychicly” or psychically) “rattling around!?”

    But I won’t give up on you Sue! Special education teachers have a professional mandate to never give up!

    I’ll admit it was a bit of a strain when they kept increasing my student load, but I’m quite comfortable with our non-profit one on one arrangement.

  • Sue

    The thought came from a few teachers along the way who were sarcastic pretty much every time they opened their mouths. Most of their students weren’t mature or sophisticated enough to “get” a lot of the sarcasm they were subjected to, and they didn’t learn. Your posts here come across as sarcastic most of the time, too. My past experiences led to my thinking the same thing was being repeated in a new situation.

    So, my thought was wrong in your case – I can admit it when I make a mistake.

  • John

    Sue: Your apology for your unfounded assertion is happily accepted.

    Now that we’re buddies again I’ll tell you I spent my career as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher, primarily focused on the needs of language delayed preschoolers and Kindergartners – not exactly the kind of learning environment conducive to a sarcastic teaching style.

    I assume fellow ‘education blog’ contributors employing a variety of communication and rebuttal approaches (including sarcasm) will not inhibit “student learning.” This needs to be a place where adults exchange ideas (and sometimes attitude) not restricted to a classroom communication standard.

    This is an Education blog with adult contributors, except for the periodic student show & tells that (to the chagrin of some) also generates adult contribution and exchange. If students want to have an ‘emotionally safe place’ to share their (learned – commonly left held) “ideas” they should do it on the likes of the Smashcast blog.

    I agree with you that sarcasm is counter productive to student learning and has NO PLACE in a K-12 classroom, unless of course the topic is Samuel Clemens.

  • Sue

    Wow – you can *really* misread, can’t you. I didn’t remember posting any apology. Reread what I did post, please. No “I’m sorry”, no “I apologize” anywhere to be found.

    Hmmm… Same phrases are consistently missing from your posts, and from Nextset’s too, no matter who or how many times others object and complain. I must be learning *something* from you two after all.

    Guess I’ll have to start working towards those fine examples of never-admit-you-got-anything-wrong next.

  • John