The "What" and "Why" of our Project

Tomorrow my students will be receiving the specifics of our project.  The objective is that students are members of the (fictional) Peaceful Pines, Michigan City Council and they must balance the city budget.  I will give them data that shows a budget that's approximately 2 million dollars in the red and they must analyze it and determine how to either generate more revenue for the city, make cuts to city services, or (most likely), both.

We're doing this simulation for many reasons.  Students will be using reasoning skills to justify their final budgets.  I expect there to be great discussion and debate amongst group members as to how to rank what they view as important to city residents.  They will have to use critical thinking skills when they persuade group members to see their viewpoints and to explain to their residents why they must make cuts.  The students will also use the iPads to create spreadsheets, prepare a Keynote presentation of their findings and write about the challenges faced during their data analysis. This project is an example of the decisions that are being made by leaders not only in Michigan but throughout the United States.

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