Hard Lessons In Student Voice

Today I was talking with some program administrators from a state education agency about student voice when one of them brought up doing “fishbowl”-style activities with students and adults. I remembered some hard lessons about student voice, and I want to share one story with with you here. How long can adults expect to keepContinue reading “Hard Lessons In Student Voice”

Calling the Shots

Adam’s Note: This is an unpublished article I wrote about student involvement in district and state school boards in Washington. Let me know if your organization is interested in publishing it by emailing adam@commonaction.org In the spring of 2011 a student-led campaign began working with the state‚Äôs Legislative Youth Advisory Council to lower the voting ageContinue reading “Calling the Shots”

Students On School Boards

There is a powerful location for student voice in schools, and its one that isn’t even in schools. One of the realities of meaningful student involvement in school improvement is the acknowledgement that a lot of decisions that affect students aren’t really made in schools at all. Rather, they are made in cubicals, offices, conferenceContinue reading “Students On School Boards”

A Parent’s Question about Punishment in Schools

I receive a lot of email and have a lot of conversations with concerned parents, people who know that their childrens’ rights are being violated or that Youth Voice is being suppressed or any of a number of bad, bad things. Sometimes it is overwhelming; sometimes enlightening. Following is an email I received last night:Continue reading “A Parent’s Question about Punishment in Schools”

Adultcentrism in Schools

Adultcentrism is an under-explored and underutilized word in education circles. For almost 100 years educators have puzzled over progressive education, student-centered education, learning communities, service learning and other methods designed to make education – as a process – more digestible to young people. There have been small leaps over a growing number of hurdles, butContinue reading “Adultcentrism in Schools”

Sacramento Bee Makes the Case

De Doan arrives at Sacramento City Unified School District board meetings dressed in a dark suit, carrying his laptop computer, ready for business. The 17-year-old senior from West Campus High School is a student representative on the board. His counterpart in the Folsom Cordova school district, Kendra Stanley, isn’t afraid to speak her mind, evenContinue reading “Sacramento Bee Makes the Case”

Winning Heart & Minds

A student from Maryland wrote me earlier this month to ask about getting more rights for student representatives on their local school board. These are usually awkward requests for me, primarily because it feels like we’re looking for a “silver bullet” that will end this problem for all times. There isn’t one. However, I thinkContinue reading “Winning Heart & Minds”