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The Future of the Social Security System:

      Will it Accommodate Future Generations of Americans?



Student Pages

Index of Projects


The Social security will go broke by the year 2025, if it remains as it is. An Advisory Council on Social Security can not agree on what to do to extend and expand Social Security. The students will be a part of the Advisory Councils decision making team. Some of them will be working with State representative, Jerry Weller from Illinois.  The students will also be in contact with Peter Ladd, Field Director of Economic Security 2000 and Marcilyn Creque, Regional Volunteer Director for the American Association of Retired Persons.  Peter and Marcy represent opposite opinions about the Social Security dilemna.

There will be 50 students involved with the project, 26 in the American Issues class with Mrs. Sweder in Will County and 18 in the Economics Class with Mrs. OíConnell from Grundy County.   Students meet in class 54 minutes per day. Once a week because of block scheduling, the teams will meet for a double period.

Learner Description/Environment:
The American Issues class is in a large school district in a city in Will County.  The students are special education students in a low socio-economic region.  The Economics class is a small rural high school in Grundy County.

Time Frame:
Students will devote fifty-four minutes daily for four weeks to research, discuss, journal, and complete project.   Teams will have two weeks to decide on a direction and research the information, one week to make a decision and develop a plan, and one week to prepare their presentations.

What an exciting time to be able to have students be involved in American Issues and Economics courses. There are so many topics that students can get "now" information to pursue engaged learning and develop problem solving skills while communicating by telecommunications. It is also an election year, but any time would be good to develop a solution for "The Future of the Social Security System". This unit will integrate social studies, language arts, and math for juniors and seniors in high school. During the first quarter of this year, students have been involved in mini-projects in cooperative groups which gives them a good foundation in working in teams to accomplish a common goal.

Learner Outcomes :
Students will establish the criteria to be included in the Web page based on engaged learning. They will use a variety of sources to gather information in order to create a web page that contains multiple HTM links. Students will present their portion of the webpage to the entire class for peer evaluation.

Alignment with Standards:

Social Studies:
16.E.5 Analyze the roles played by selected groups in civic issues (e.g. citizenship, immigration policy, suffrage, civil rights) at significant periods in the development of the United States.
14.D.5 Compare and contrast a variety of public policies and issues from the perspective of different individuals and groups.

10.B.5 Design a statistical experiment to answer a question about a realistic situation, conduct the experiment, use inferential statistics to interpret the data, and communicate the results, individually and as members of a team.

Language Arts:
3.C.5 Communicate information and ideas in narrative, expository and persuasive writing with clarity and effectivenes in a variety of  written forms using appropriate transitional and electronic formats; adapt content, vocabulary, voice and tone to the audience, purpose and situation.
5.C.5 Write well-documented research papers or prepare documentaries related to academic, functional or occupational topics and present the findings in an oral and/or visual presentation, both as individuals and as members of a group and using contemporary technology.

Structure of the Learning:

Content: The content includes creating a solution for the current Social Security System which is in a crisis.

Process: The process involves students communicating with other peers in adjoining counties and with mentors in the field.  Students will gather information and develop a strategy to save the social security system from failing future generations.

Product:  Student teams will develop a solution for the Social Security dilemna.  They will be presenting in an oral or electronic format at a town meeting.

Assessment is ongoing by keeping journals.  Student teams will summarize the data found and email to their partner team on Fridays.  Another assessment is the Inspiration mind-map.  Present an electronic presentation and being a participant at the town meeting. Articles will be written and sent to the representative.
Project/Unit Evaluation:
 The student team solution for the Social Security dilemna and the town meeting presentation are the project/unit evaluation.


Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office, Friends of Fermilab, United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, and North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium (NCRTEC) which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).


Author(s): Lucianne Sweder     lsweder@pda.k12.il.us
                 Robbin O'Connell    roconnell@pda.k12.il.us
                Professional Development Alliance
                A Regional Office of Education for Will, Grundy-Kendall Counties
                Joliet, Illinois
Created: May 17, 1998- Updated: May 19, 1998
URL: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/lincon/w98/projects/socsecurity/present.html