Typical in schools, students aren’t asked about much that’s not on a test. Forget about asking them what is working for them or not in a school that is “working.” Really forget about asking such a question to students in a school that is “failing.”
My hat is off to the students at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island. As the heated debate rages on about what to do about the “failing” school; after entire workforces have been fired and rehired; the students have said enough! We’re the ones hurting here and you are not even talking to us about this! A group of 50 students walked out of classes and silently protested.
I am not clear whether it was a result of the protest or not, but the district administration says it will now hold weekly student assemblies in order to involve students in the schools turn around planning process.
I take this to be a good reminder that students should always have a meaningful voice in their learning and schools. And that whenever undertaking a social change initiative, it is always best to engage all key stakeholders in the process. In public schools, I just don’t think we are honest with ourselves yet about students truly being a key stakeholder.
All the best,
Adam “Nobody Asked for My Opinion” Burk
- High School Dropouts, In Their Own Words (npr.org)
- After Firings Halted, Some Bemoan State Of R.I. School (npr.org)