Student Well-Being

Campaign Notebook

January 28, 2004 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Dean Strikes a Chord With One Constituency: Iowa’s Younger ‘Voters’

Election 2004

It may not be much help in his very real quest for the White House, but Howard Dean won something in Iowa last week.

While the former governor of Vermont finished a distant third in the Jan. 19 Iowa Democratic caucuses, behind Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina, he came in first among students taking part in the Iowa Mock Caucus.

From Jan. 12 to Jan. 14, as the real race for the Democratic presidential nomination tightened, 8,752 students in some 200 schools around the state cast their mock votes in an educational exercise sponsored by the Iowa secretary of state’s office. The result: 27.3 percent of student voters backed Mr. Dean, followed by 18.6 percent for Mr. Kerry. Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, who dropped out of the race on Jan. 15—just after the student voting ended—finished third with 11.8 percent of the vote, slightly ahead of Mr. Edwards, who received 11.4 percent.

Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri didn’t fare any better among the students than he did with the actual voters: He received 9.6 percent of the mock vote.

Students can enroll online for the 2004 National Student/Parent Mock Election, scheduled for October 28.

Organizers say this was not the first time Iowa’s students and adult voters were not on the same page.

“In Iowa, the students overwhelmingly chose Lamar Alexander the year their parents chose Bob Dole,” said John Herklotz, the vice chairman of the National Student/Parent Mock Election, in a reference to the 1996 Republican caucuses. “Their choice, we discovered, was based on the fact that Lamar Alexander did not run negative commercials. Perhaps history might have been different had the adults evaluated candidates as the children did.”

The Iowa Mock Election was part of the National Student/Parent Mock Election, a voter education project that conducts such student votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire, which was holding the first- in-the-nation binding presidential primary on Jan. 27, held its student mock voting Jan. 12-23. The results were to be released late last week. More than 125 New Hampshire schools signed up to participate in the first such event in the Granite State.

“The assumption is likely to be that the New Hampshire students’ vote will reflect their parents’ choices,” said Mr. Herklotz.

For organizers of the student election, however, it is not about how adults vote; it is about how students view political leaders who could affect their lives.

“We must encourage young people to make their voices heard,” Laura Kessler, the state coordinator for the New Hampshire mock election, said. “It is their future that is being decided by this election. Their wars, their educational opportunities, their environment, their health care will all be voted on this year when America chooses its leader.”

Clark on Adequacy

Retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark waded into the thicket of state school finance policy recently in South Carolina, whose Feb. 3 Democratic primary is the most closely watched contest after this week’s vote in New Hampshire.

The presidential hopeful said during a Jan. 15 speech at Dillon High School in the town of Dillon, S.C., that the state should provide more than a “minimally adequate” education.

“We should be talking about how to make our schools the best in the world, not how to make them ‘minimally adequate,’” he said, according to The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C. “This made me really angry when I read this.”

The state of South Carolina is fighting a decade-long court battle with a group of rural school districts seeking more money for education. The state supreme court ruled in 1999 that the state constitution requires South Carolina to provide a “minimally adequate” education and that the state was not providing that level of schooling for some students. The court upheld the school finance lawsuit, urged the legislature to remedy the situation, and sent the case back to a lower court. No school-finance plan has emerged from lawmakers, so the case now is being heard.

In his Dillon High speech, according to The State, Mr. Clark said there was an “education gap” between schools in rich neighborhoods and those in poor ones.

“For too many children in America, the education they get depends on where they live and how much money their parents have,” he reportedly said.

—Natasha N. Smith & Alan Richard

A version of this article appeared in the January 28, 2004 edition of Education Week as Campaign Notebook


Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Student Achievement Webinar Examining the Evidence: What We’re Learning From the Field About Implementing High-Dosage Tutoring Programs
Tutoring programs have become a leading strategy to address COVID-19 learning loss. What evidence-based principles can district and school leaders draw on to design, implement, measure, and improve high-quality tutoring programs? And what are districts

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Calif. Parents Who Knowingly Sent Child to School With COVID Could Face Penalty
The parents knowingly sent their COVID-19 positive child and a sibling to school, causing a coronavirus outbreak, officials said.
3 min read
Students walk past a social distancing reminder sign while heading to the nurse's office to be tested for COVID-19, during summer school at the E.N. White School in Holyoke, Mass., on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021.
Students walk past a social distancing reminder sign while heading to the nurse's office to be tested for COVID-19 during summer school at the E.N. White School in Holyoke, Mass., on Aug. 4, 2021.
Charles Krupa/AP
Student Well-Being Omicron or No, Schools Should Prepare for a Pandemic Winter
Here are answers to questions about the new strain, which is considered potentially more infectious than Delta.
4 min read
Leader holding telescope and looking ahead while on top of ladder leaning on a large virus pathogen
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Student Well-Being Opinion Want Students to 'Build a Better World?' Try Culturally Responsive Social-Emotional Learning
The practice includes expanding students’ networks and developing their awareness of what it feels, looks, and sounds like to manage emotions.
19 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
Student Well-Being Opinion Social-Emotional Learning and the Perils of Teaching as Therapy
SEL risks overburdening teachers with responsibilities they aren’t trained for, compromising their ability to build academic skills.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty