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Welcome to the Faculty Only section of Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances, where you can download a wide assortment of ready-to-use teaching and discussion materials. Our nonpartisan guide to the budget and national debt crisis and potential solutions for the future can be used on their own, for a college seminar or campus event, or can be integrated into one or more classes of existing college courses in disciplines including Political Science, Public Policy and Economics. In partnership with the University of Virginia's Youth Leadership Institute, we're now also offering materials for middle- and high-school classes.
Portions of the curriculum are also available for concerned citizens outside the academic community interested in holding workshops or events for the public to learn more about the nation's escalating financial crisis and brainstorm on ways to turn back the tide of red ink.
The Students Face Up curriculum, in keeping with the nature of the federal budget crisis - which can only be solved by citizens talking to each other about the choices we face - is open-source to the extent that both students and faculty members can submit papers, videos, podcasts, PowerPoint presentations, and URLs of additional resources to enhance our core Students Face Up student and teacher curriculum materials.
Students Face Up isn't about passive learning. The idea is to learn about the budget deficit and the national debt and what they're doing to our lives - yesterday, today and tomorrow - and then step up and do something about it. Budget-balancing games, comments and discussion are a vital part of our program, as is the contest held each semester in which students rate each other's essays and multimedia presentations (videos, podcasts, songs, PowerPoint presentations).
Journalism students from Syracuse University, seen here in Washington, D.C., at a Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances workshop.
Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances is designed to raise awareness of the many issues involved in America's growing fiscal crisis, spark serious discussion of the problems and policy choices posed by the looming deficit, and motivate students to become active citizens demanding policy changes. The curriculum, which serves as a mechanism for student voices to be heard by leaders and opinion shapers, benefits from Public Agenda's research and analysis of how young Americans think about issues vital for their own and the nation's future.
Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances is a natural outgrowth of Public Agenda's successful and ongoing nationwide citizens' dialogue project, Facing Up to the Nation's Finances. This multi-year collaboration has involved The Concord Coalition, The Brookings Institution, The Heritage Foundation, and Viewpoint Learning. Public Agenda's work on federal finances also has brought it into partnership for public events, Washington briefings, and publications with many other organizations.
Coordinating with Public Agenda on the Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances initiative is The National Academy of Public Administration, which was instrumental in the initial pilot of the student program.
»A new report finds the main problem in getting the public to deal with our fiscal problems isn't opposition to tax increases or spending cuts -- it's their lack of trust in the government to spend their money wisely.