As suggested by a random sampling of high school students collected by MoCo Student staff writers over the last two days, Rachit Agarwal of Richard Montgomery High School is ahead in this year’s race for Student Member of the Board of Education.
378 students were randomly sampled in total, with 20-30 students surveyed per school. Schools represented are Poolesville HS, Northwood HS, Wheaton HS, Richard Montgomery HS, Clarksburg HS, Blake HS, Magruder HS, Bethesda Chevy Chase HS, Walter Johnson HS, Wootton HS, Whitman HS, Einstein HS, and Blair HS.
Equal numbers of students were randomly surveyed at Richard Montgomery High School and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, the home schools of the candidates. Data suggest that Guerci has a greater home school advantage at BCC than Agarwal with his home school at RM. Schools in the Downcounty Consortium, particularly Blake and Blair, showed significant preference for Agarwal.
Because “Meet the Candidates” was filmed and released later than usual this year, many schools have yet to air the video. Yet due to the fast approaching May AP/IB exam season, the video is not being aired as frequently or consistently. Although all social studies teachers are required to show the video to their students, it is ultimately at the discretion of teachers when to devote class time for it. The video can be found at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/studentaffairs/smob/candidates_video.shtm.
Learning about each candidate is crucial to making an informed decision. The SMOB election will take place on Wednesday, April 29, and all MCPS middle and high school students are eligible to participate in the election. All students make their decisions on election day, and votes can well deviate from these poll results, especially as a vast majority of respondents said they had not seen the “Meet the Candidates” video (some respondents commented that their schools only present the video the day before or the day of the election itself). In addition, this poll lacks responses from most upcounty schools, due to time and resource constraints. Middle schools, an important voting population, were not surveyed.