Raise Your Hand Campaign is a student-led research initiative in New Orleans schools that pulled together student testimony and research from 6 different public high schools to examine the opportunities, or lack thereof, available to students in the years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The report the students assembled (download here) examines everything from teaching quality and student support services to physical environment and school food, and gives each school a report card and recommendations for improvement. Altogether, the Raise Your Hand Campaign is a stunning example of students organizing to make their voices heard in the education reform debate. Watch the video chronicling their initiative below.
In 2007, students from the Boston Student Advisory Council began demanding a voice in teacher evaluations. After designing a student-to-teacher feedback form, they had it approved by the Boston School Committee and implemented throughout the district. In 2011, the MA Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to make student feedback a mandatory component of official teacher evaluations.
On March 14th, Alliance for Quality Education held a rally in Albany, NY, to demand equitable funding for the state's public schools and support for struggling schools. Over 1,800 students, parents and educators attended the rally. Tina Dove, Director of the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign, spoke about the importance of organizing and the need for residents to make their voices heard to elected officials.
Arkansas Public Policy Panel Executive Director Bill Kopsky outlines 8 characteristics of effective school systems that guarantee every child has an opportunity to learn. This clip is excerpted from a longer television workshop on the Arkansas dropout rate that aired in November on AETN - the Arkansas PBS affiliate.
Michael Diedrich, policy analyst for Minesota 2020, explains why quality education is unlike other goods and services provided by the competitive market and why market-based education policy is the wrong approach for reform.