Friday, September 25, 2020
US flag

We congratulate the “Politicized” Class of 2017

We send our heartfelt congratulations to the high school graduates of the Class of 2017, and in keeping with our tradition of giving each year’s graduating class a nickname, we have decided that the adjective that best sums up this year for seniors is “politicized.”

We have assigned the label based on numerous reports from across the country of an uptick in political activism surrounding the election of President Donald Trump in November as well as an increase in fortitude shown by students who have stood up for friends being bullied or criticized because of their political beliefs.

Back in 2008, the National Center for Education Statistics predicted that there would be about 3.3 million graduates this spring, including about 10 percent from private schools, assuming an 8-percent increase overall since the 2004-05 school year. However, the US graduated 3,466,888 high school seniors in the Class of 2013, which we dubbed the “activist” class, the last year for which actual data are available, and the number has fallen a little, casting doubt on the NCES prediction from 2008, when there was a reliable increase every year.

The trend, now in a bit of a plateau, is expected to reach a high of 3,561,051 graduates in 2024-25 and then fall back to 3.3 million within about seven years after that. But while the number is expected to go down in coming years, following several decades of increases, high school graduates are projected to become less white, more Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander, and increasingly located in the South over the coming years, a report released in December from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education says.

As part of our ongoing Verbo de Verbo project, which in Latin means “word for word,” we invite high school students who are speaking at their graduation to send us the text of their speeches so we can get an inside look at life in your school. Please get your principal’s permission before sending us your speech, but we always look forward to publishing your actual accounts of life in your classrooms and at your schools.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

New youth forum talks virtual learning in Md.

Virtual learning thoughts from a Md. HS: It can work and keeps kids safe, but it ends up being harder (you can't just ask a teacher if you don't understand).

IL brings 1000s back to school for SAT exam

Many IL seniors went back to their school buildings today to make up the SAT exam, which they missed last spring as juniors due to the pandemic.

How citizens prefer to fund environmental action

Growing demand for countries to combat climate change, less consensus on how to fund it. New study offers insight from the US, UK, Germany, France.

Student news roundup, Illinois, Sept. 21

The death of The Notorious RBG, foreign exchange student from France, live streaming plays, BLM, and (of course) remote learning.

Fewer kindergartners, more college drop-outs

The nation has experienced an increase in college drop-outs, esp. among low-income families, and an explainable decrease in kindergarten enrollment.

Tim Kaine talks to Fairfax Co. seniors

In Virginia, protesters intimidated citizens at an early voting center in Fairfax Co. Sen. Tim Kaine talks about voting to students.

Obituary: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is certain to bring a political battle between the president, the Senate, and Democrats.

Students help in wake of Gulf Coast storms

Hurricane victims in the South got some much needed help from students at one Louisiana school. Laura and Sally have been very destructive.

Scientific American endorses a candidate

It's rare that a science journal would endorse a presidential candidate, but it has happened, due mainly to Pres. Trump's rejection of science.

Student news roundup, Maryland, Sept. 16

The pandemic reveals much more about us than our unpreparedness for virtual learning; Md. students look at healthcare and choices about schooling.

Smoke from Calif. paints the East Coast sun

The sunrise this morning in Baltimore and Chicago was cooled by smoke from the Calif. wildfires, which created a thick haze aloft.