Social Studies teacher Aaron Baker has developed a three-day MAPS 4 curriculum and released it Wednesday night to anyone who wants to use it.
The curriculum went live on his website spoonvision.wordpress.com Wednesday night.
See the complete curriculum below.
“MAPS” stands for Metropolitan Area Projects and has become such a familiar term to people in the metro the original full name is hardly used anymore.
If passed, the newest MAPS proposals could produce improvements across the city and support organizations that work to alleviate suffering among Oklahoma City’s residents.
Opportunity for engagement
The experienced teacher who has joined the faculty at Putnam North High School this year saw a golden opportunity to both teach Oklahoma City government to his Oklahoma History class and encourage engagement of parents in the process, too.
Baker said the more he looked at the possibility the more he realized this was a great time to do the curriculum since the topic is a local one and in the news often.
The fact that Oklahoma History is a semester course made the timing almost perfect.
“Literally, this class will be wrapping up a week after the vote,” Baker said.
“So I thought it was a great time to put a little mini-unit together, not only for the students but also for people at home. All of them … are potential voters.”
“MAPS has a history of narrow margins,” He said. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen with this MAPS, and I’m not really in a position to sway one way or the other. I feel like I’m in a position to just help get out the vote.”
Objectives for the three-day unit are that students will be able to:
• describe the complexities of city government operations.
• explain the historical context of MAPS in Oklahoma City.
• distinguish between the forms of taxation at the local level.
• list the various projects proposed in MAPS 4.
Essential questions for students as they progress through the curriculum will be:
• How do local elections and referendums directly affect the lives of city residents?
• What does engaged citizenship look like at the local level?
Students will learn about past MAPS proposals and become familiar with the timeline starting with the first MAPS being proposed by then-Mayor Ron Norick in 1992. Voters accepted the proposal in 1993.
Students will also learn about the differences between the four different MAPS projects.
One activity for students is called “Congratulations, Mayor!” The instructions read, “Congratulations! You are the newly elected Mayor of Oklahoma City! In the lines below, write a 20-word description of what kind of leader you plan to be as Mayor.”
Oklahoma City’s current Mayor is David Holt, who was an Oklahoma State Senator representing a segment of the metro core prior to his election to mayor early in 2018.
This was our election night coverage:
The latest MAPS vote will be on establishing an eight-year penny sales tax in Oklahoma City that will fund 16 proposals. The total budget for MAPS 4 is $978 million.
Even though voters will not get to pick between the projects and will be only voting for a tax, the Oklahoma City Council passed a resolution of intent in September intended to reassure voters about their intentions if the tax passes.
The projects are listed and explained on the City of Oklahoma City’s website.
The ideas for this kind of contemporaneous and engaged curriculum unit came from Baker’s experiences last year when he worked with an organization called Generation Citizen.
“We were doing action civics, and so that got me super excited about teaching state and local government,” he said.
Generation Citizen helps teachers develop curricula that encourage students to already start engaging with the governments around them.
This statement is on the home page of their website: “Generation Citizen believes all students have the right to civics education that prepares them to participate in our democracy.”
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