As students lead the call for a national right to high quality education, it is also important to recognize that a lot of what happens in our schools is determined at the local and state levels. With this in mind, Our Education is working to develop our Student Voice Project (SVP)." Our Education is currently piloting the Student Voice Project in Connecticut thanks to the efforts of Yale University student staff members."
The Student Voice Project works to engage and empower high school students to play an active role as partners in local school improvement efforts alongside teachers, parents, administrators, and community advocates." It does so in three ways:
1.) Increasing Youth Capacity. " If high school students are to have the most positive impact on their schools, they will need to be taught how their schools are run (i.e. who makes what decisions and why), how to seek out the views of their entire student body, how to come up with constructive solutions, and how to make effective presentations principals and school board members." Our Education trains students through regional leadership development conferences (read about the Connecticut Student Voice Conference held in November 2005), a seven-week civic engagement curriculum in high school government classes, and through online live chats.
2.) Increasing Youth Access " Young people also need to have access to the adults who make key decisions affecting their education: principals, school board members, and elected city officials." Our Education has developed a guidebook (download below) to help students navigate the process of securing a student voice in local school districts, and is also working on a state-by-state campaign in support of laws enshrining student representation in local level school policy.
3.) Increasing Youth Involvement " A high school that is successfully engaging students has the involvement of all of the students in the school, not just a select few." More information about how to succeed in this area can be found in our Guidebook for Student Representation."
To learn more about how you can bring the Student Voice Project to your school, download our Guidebook for Student Representation!"