As part of our exploration of the US Constitution, we discussed today the pros and cons of the electoral college system. We had already spent some time in serious discussion about the roots of this system steeped in the slaveholders’ desire for more political power. We had examined the possibility under this system that in close races, one who won the majority of the popular vote, did not necessarily gain all the electoral votes needed to win. The kids really demonstrated good thinking around the electoral college’s viability: its weaknesses as well as its positives. (I especially enjoyed their reasoning that the electoral college made viewing the presidential election returns on TV a lot more fun.)
It was then that AF suggested we ought to have an electoral college vote for grades. Yes, he said, based on the winner-take-all system, one only needed to get a 51% on any test to get an A. “Brilliant,” GD added. The room was up for grabs.
ER suggested that instead we go with the majority of grades in the class. In other words, under the winner-take-all rule, if the majority of students in class got As then everyone would get one. If the majority got Bs then Bs for all, etc. No congressional districting for us!
“I like the first idea best,” TR shouted.
“Can we really do it? Can we?”
I suspect that the students have mastered understanding this intricate and complicated system for electing the president. I can always tell when they get playful that they have fully integrated the whole concept.
And on one cold wintry day in the near future, maybe we can do it– I will employ a quiz whose results will be winner-take-all. I know it will be a big hit with the kids. I just hope I’ll be as pleased with the results of the electoral college next Tuesday.