Presidential Politics Update: Diving into the ’90s

by Dennis Jenkins

On Wednesday morning, we took our first assessment over what students have learned about the years 1960 to 1992. They also did a reading analysis over a court case from 1992, Planned Parenthood of SE Penn v. Casey. After our morning break, we contrasted campaign commercials from each candidate, and then half of the class prepared for their role-play debate of the 1992 election while the other half took part in a round-table discussion of two court cases during Bill Clinton’s first term, Shaw v. Reno and Vernonia School District 47 v. Acton. The court cases dealt with race-based congressional districts and drug testing for student athletes.

After lunch, the class went to the computer lab to research information for their Mount Rushmore project and the Presidential Face-Off Tournament. When we returned, students watched a short clip from the 1992 presidential debate and satire on the campaign. Students ended class by participating in a role-play debate among Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, and George H. W. Bush, as played by Maggie, Nathaniel, and Isabella. During study hall, students continued their research for their project and next week’s tournament.

On Thursday, we will have a normal class as we celebrate the 4th of July in Presidential Politics by examining politics and court cases during the 1990s. We will also role-play the 1996 debate in addition to watching a reenactment of the moment our country declared its independence from Britain in 1776. On Thursday night, we will travel to Washington, D.C., with two other classes on a charter bus. We will arrive on Friday morning to visit the Supreme Court and the U.S. Capitol and take a tour of the monuments in D.C. We will return on Saturday morning.

Note: Teacher Dennis Jenkins will be posting updates on his course, Presidential Politics, throughout VAMPY.