Digesting The Presidential Debates...In AP Government Class

Mar 11, 2016

In the past, teacher Kevin Mullin always told students that a strong ground game wins elections. Enter Donald Trump, Mullin says, “And we’ve been talking a lot about brokered conventions, and about the role of superdelegates.” Mullin, who teaches AP government at MAST Academy, a science-focused magnet school on Key Biscayne, says this year’s primary has given real-world context to scenarios that his students usually learn only for the sake of the AP exam.

After back-to-back presidential debates in Miami this week,  Mullin engaged his students in a half-hour recap that ranged from veteran’s benefits to Supreme Court nominations to isolationist foreign policy.

Asked about a president who might reach across the aisle in a divided Congress, 12th grader TJ Johnson dismissed the whole GOP field. “Trump, for instance, nobody wants to work with him. Marco Rubio, his own state, in his hometown, the Sun Sentinel wouldn’t even support him. Let’s be real!” Johnson said. His classmate Timothy Bax took a more philosophical tack: “A civilized nation requires compromise for progress, and I feel we’re short of great compromisers right now…

    The No. 1 issue for this group of high school seniors,  Mullin says, is college affordability.