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  Workshop 3: Public Policy & the Federal Budget  
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Workshop 3

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Teacher Perspectives
Student Perspectives
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Student Perspectives: Role-playing

Alex: I played Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts, which really surprised Ms. Martin. She doesn’t think that I’m a very vocal person and she didn’t expect me to pick as vocal a senator as I picked. I really like Ted Kennedy because he’s such a leader. Whether you disagree with him or not, you respect what he does for the state of Massachusetts and the country, and the role that he plays in the Senate.

Andrew: I chose Fred Thompson because he is a Republican from Tennessee, and he focuses very much on defense. I would like to have a stronger military, preferably right now in the wake of September 11th. He also focuses on foreign affairs and energy. I think energy is a big concern right now--especially with the rolling blackouts in California and the oil drilling in Alaska. I think those two issues are big [for] our future.

Caitlin: I represent Frank Murkowski and researched [his background]. I am against the drilling in Alaska. He is for it so I am going to have to overlook my views to represent his. I will just have to look at it in a different way.

Emily: I played Hillary Clinton from New York because she has strong views on environmental conservation and education and also on finding different sources of energy. I think those are important.

George: I was going to do Ted Kennedy but I asked Ms. Martin who would be the closest [to my views] because she knows a lot about my beliefs. She said Barney Frank, so I looked into what he had done, and he was fairly close in line with what I believe in. I think she understands that a lot of the kids, including myself, don’t have a real strong mirror for their beliefs. They sort of know what they feel about things, but they don’t know exactly where they stand on some of the issues. By giving us someone we can research [and] role-play, she is giving us the opportunity to learn specifically about things, and at the same time, have a definite opinion on where we stand on things that we are going to be debating as a Senator.

Michael: My group decided that I was to be the President. Sadly, our group wasn’t able to get a computer so we wrote it all down and I’m just going to type it up. We [developed] an outline and a very rough draft of a speech explaining why we allocated resources to whatever group we did. I’m going to deliver that speech and mainly just promote what we feel is the importance of our budget.

[In the debate] I’ll be playing John Edwards. I was researching at Senate.gov and I thought that the best way to figure out what Senator my views coincided with was to pick a committee that I felt strongly about. I picked the small business committee. His idea on small business was the only one that I agreed with. I almost identically coincided with his beliefs, except for his belief for increased defense. I, unlike most of the America people, feel that we’ve got enough defense and that we should be working more on education and improving our transportation system and rebuilding roads. It gives you a personality to follow and reinforces your own personality. [Ms. Martin’s] kind of making you look at it from multiple angles. She doesn’t reinforce a bias on the issue. If you look at it from all the angles you get to see the varying opinions on the issue and really develop an intelligent decision of your own about how you feel.

Sarah: I’m the President of my group so I’ll be presenting our budget and talking with the rest of the class about why our group feels the money should go to the different cabinet levels. I’m going to be Senator Paul Sarbanes in the debate. There is a lot of information about him since he’s been around for so long and he is very well respected. My parents are Democrats and he’s a Democrat from Maryland. He has been really active in the Senate for about 30 years now and he was a Congressman before that so I figured he had experience and he also supports education a lot. Being a student, I’m really big on education, obviously. He also takes a very large role in the business and economic status of our country and I think that’s also very important.


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