“Signing” on to the Student Voice Movement

By: Caitlin Donnelly

More and more weight is being put on standardized test scores in teacher evaluations in our schools. Administrators evaluate teachers based on a couple classroom visits throughout the year. Meanwhile, students who are in the classroom every day are denied the opportunity to share their opinions on teachers and instruction. Research shows what you already know, that students recognize good teaching when they see it. It’s time to make the voices of students heard!

Join the YOUNG Coalition for the “We Are the Ones in the Classroom – Ask Us!” workshop, where we will discuss how we got the Boston Public School district and the Massachusetts Board of Education to utilize student voice in teacher evaluations and how you can make this a reality in your school. Constructive feedback and student input in evaluations helps build relationships, improves teaching, and creates a positive school culture.

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Throughout the conference, be on the lookout for the mobile “Student Voice Photo Booth.” This picture-campaign asks students, teachers, organizers, and anyone else connected to education to tell us why student voice matters and how it improves the classroom. Make a sign, take a picture, and “sign on” to the student voice movement!

Connect with us in Chicago, or go online to studentvoicematters.org to see photo booth pictures, find out more about the national campaign for student involvement in teacher evaluation, and get resources to start this movement in YOUR city.


New York Revs Up for FMFP

Last weekend, a group of students and educators met in New York to prepare for FMFP in Chicago.  Some of the groups represented were Global Kids, The Brotherhood Sister Sol, NYCoRE, and of course the Education for Liberation Network.  In addition to meeting and getting to know one another during the gathering, folks discussed ideas of schooling vs. education and what social justice education looks like to them.  Students were also able to share some of the challenges that they are facing in their schools along with the work they are doing in their respective personal lives and with their organizations to improve those issues.

The event was a great start to bringing people together in the always hectic New York City environment.  Everybody in the room is excited to meet other social justice students and educators and to learn, learn, learn from the wealth of knowledge presented at the conference.  The session closed with the group setting their intentions for Chicago -“Listening, Building, Learning, Connecting, Justice” were some of the words people used to bring to the conference with them.  Knowing the past success of the conference, surely those intentions and more will be achieved once everybody gets to FMFP.

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Big thanks to Rita Kamani-Renedo, Manauvaskar Kublall, Cidra Sebastien, Daralee Vazquez and Susan Wilcox for all their work on the event.  If anybody would like to connect to the New York City group, you can email info@freemindsfreepeople.org and we’ll direct you to the team.

New York City getting wacky at Global Kids

New York City getting wacky at Global Kids