Saturday, February 27, 2010

Student BOE?

I recently posted a link on our class website to The New York Times' "A Diploma in the 10th Grade?".

This led to a discussion in our class on the direction education is headed - or perhaps I should say the many directions, since my students voiced the opinion that the adults and "experts" (those are their vocally-implied quotation marks) involved are running around with a million expensive fixes, many of which seem to have little bearing on what actually works for kids.

They asked why more people don't talk to the students, why no high school tenth graders were included in the Times commentary. This reminded me of Andrew B. Watt's response to Scott McLeod's question "What's wrong with the Edublogosphere?" Where are the kids' voices?

One of the points that many bring up when it comes to classroom tech integration is the power of turning over some of the authority to students. They're often more creative than we are, and quite frankly many of them are smarter than we are, so the end results have the potential to turn out better than we could have hoped with just adults running the show.

We have a student task force at our school that meets regularly with administrators to provide the student perspective on school issues, and their involvement has made a noticeable impact on the climate in the building. Are there any systems that have something similar to this at the district level? A sort of student board of education? My kids are interested to know.

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