What Students Really Know About the Government


Emily Bisanti, Writer

High school students don’t know as much about politics as you may have been lead to believe.

Franklin High School students are offered a choice of 18 different advanced placement classes. All of these classes are optional to be taken as an AP and while some are offered also as college preparatory or honors classes, AP Government and Politics is not.

The election for President of the United States is nearing, putting a weight on the shoulders of seniors that they’ve never before experienced. On November 8, 2016 many seniors at FHS will have the opportunity to influence who will be the next President. In an attempt to see where Franklin seniors were with their thinking, a series of interviews was conducted with people who had and had not taken AP Government and Politics.

Leading the interview process, senior Leah Zogby, a current AP Gov. student, expressed that taking the class had helped her immensely with her knowledge of the government. Never before had she realized how involved she could be with the government and how involved the government was in her daily life.

She concluded her interview saying she believes this knowledge is “as important as math” and that she had no regrets of taking it even though before her class load was mainly advanced Science classes.

In concurrence, senior John Salzillo made insightful comments that not only should students take the class in order to gain a better understanding of how the political system works, but also that if the school offered it in more than just an AP course more students would take it.

A mere 45 years ago, 18 year olds were given the right to vote in the nation-wide elections. Without knowledge of the government, some students question if they will have enough information to vote for who they agree with. Seniors Molly Brown and Nicole Walsh discussed researching the candidates closer to the election, but admitted if they had taken the class they would feel more prepared.

Contradicting the other interviewees, senior Patrick Kapples who took the class his junior year, remarked that there was little to do with the information he had gained from the class.


Looking at government from this perspective is crucial, as many students will not continue their education in hopes of getting a job on the Hill. This information will become irrelevant shortly after the election year.

However little you plan to do with politics, a general understanding of the system is pivotal to using the system to your advantage. In support of this idea, here’s an article that discusses college students education on the topic.