"...The protest[s] disrupted classroom routines and standardized testing in some of the state’s biggest and best-known school districts, offering a real-life civics lesson that unfolded on lawns, sidewalks, parking lots and football fields...
With their protests, the students sought to send a message to Gov. Christopher J. Christie, a Republican whose reductions in state aid to education had led many districts to cut staff and programs and to ask for larger-than-usual property tax increases. Mr. Christie, who has taken on the state’s largest teachers’ union in his efforts to close an $11 billion deficit, has proposed reducing direct aid to nearly 600 districts by an amount equal to up to 5 percent of each district’s operating budget..." (source)
I guess the NYT is referring to the action of a walk out and a protest as the civic lesson, but I'd say that's more of a civic experience as nothing was really learned.
As soon as I heard about these walkouts yesterday, I thought about what a grand opportunity it was for New Jersey's new governor Chris Christie to give these kids (and kids across the nation) an actual civics lesson.
Let them know that these cuts are a direct result of overspending and corruption of the generations before them and as a result of New Jersey's bloated social programs (New jersey is one of the of the only states that hands out welfare to able-bodied single people). Christie should use this as a tangible example of economic consequences and warn of the bigger cuts to come thanks to new programs instituted by the Obama administration.
Americans don't normally care about something until it effects them personally, so Christie should use these walkouts to impart a valuable lesson about spending when the coffer is empty...about how he was elected to fix this problem but no one wants to sacrifice...an eventually asking them if "Cap and Trade" and "Single Payer health care" is worth even more slashing to their schools and programs...?