"Student voice is now being invited to evaluate teachers, but I think that's very bad idea. One more way to intimidate educators.
#soschat" @DianeRavitch (5:57 PM - 19 Jun 12)
In public education voice is something that is tolerated with a sense of intolerance…meaning it is something that is lauded only for preaching the common message. When that voice becomes independent and free from the common, it then becomes a whistle-blower, a troublemaker.
Sometime some might even go as far as to say that the collective voice has become an insubordinate headache and must become subject to public denouncement, censorship, and discipline. This is common in the world of public education when the voices of educators and students become louder than mumbles.
However, in the world of public education the voice is something that should always be both feared and equally respected because it can shed light on things that previously had no light shed on them. For this reason the voice has become something that has been demanded for and fought for and consequently should never be vilified. The voice itself is the sole perpetrator behind numerous amounts of edu-movements that brought a sense of social justice to a system that just generations before lacked it in every sense possible. The voice can be and is the most powerful thing within a minority of the educational system that has had their right to express and identify minimized or taken away. Voice is the sole weapon left for the underdogs to create a sense of being and unity in a system where neither are present that works to draw those with shared frustrations together. Voice is the predominant force behind a fight for equity and equality in a system where neither is valued and to have such opportunity to have voice being on the forefront threatened is nothing short of an attack on the societal and constitutional rights of students across the country.
One would think that an educator or an avid supporter of public unionized educators would understand the importance of voice. One would think that the importance of inclusion within discussion, the importance to have an opportunity to have the collective voice be heard without risk of censorship, without intimidation, and without risk of retaliation would be something that is valued. One would think of all people an educator would understand such importance of voice due to the struggle that educators themselves find themselves in. However, there are educators and avid supporters of public educators out there who fail to understand such pivotal importance of the student voice. There are educators out there who think that students should be without a voice that has value in a discussion that has been for too long dictated by the majority.
Nevertheless, we as students and as young adults in a system that works in tireless resistance to hear our voices, our screams, and our pleas for socially just education must not let our voice remain endangered. Even when such opposition to our voice and such public denouncement of the importance of student voice exists, we must work effortlessly to ensure that we remain central to the goal of reinventing, revolutionizing, and preserving the promise of equal and equitable public education. While those who wish to make their voices heard might not want to gain enemies we must not stand by in silence as educators have done for far too long and let our voice become censored and denounced by those who wish to hear one side of the discussion.