A focus on politics and public service promotes student expertise both in and out of school.
At Franklin, Seattle's oldest high school, the annual "Preach" is always a big deal for students—and for me. Preach is slang for the end-of-year summative oral presentation, or speech. During my 14 years at Franklin teaching history, government, and American literature, I've seen how a civics and political science perspective ignites enthusiasm in all students.
Although I consider myself a semi-tough old coach, I typically need to bring a few tissues to the Preach because it's so powerful. Each June, after their final exams, my scholars take to the PreachBox (the podium) and give a formal speech that answers the question that shaped the year: What are your political views and conception of civic duty, and how have they evolved this year in response to what you've learned? Most students say that they had initially either hated or ignored politics but that the course's relentless connection of past to present got them interested. Students typically report a dramatic increase in their desire and ability to make the world a better place.