Students, like myself, are often frustrated with the education system, whether this frustration has stemmed from applicability of classroom instruction or the dehumanization of the learning process. I felt that I had no power to change or impact MY education. We, as students, need to learn about education governance and how student voices can and should be heard, so that we can participate in improving our education. However, we are currently not learning about this in school.
Oregon Student Voice believes that Oregon’s students are missing what they need to be active participants in their K-12 education system: knowledge about how education policy decisions are made. Even though Oregon’s curriculum mandates basic education about this governance, these lessons are often sparsely taught and leave students with haphazard understandings of a major part of the society they live in. As outlined in our policy brief, we believe that the best way to resolve this problem is by teaching all of Oregon’s students about K-12 education governance in their high school civics or U.S. government courses.
We also know that standards will need to be put in place to provide guidance for this instruction. Our policy brief provides potential learning goals as well as a variety of positive outcomes of comprehensive education governance instruction. Students that understand the decision-making processes that directly affect them are empowered and more likely to engage in voting and other forms of civic engagement. Increase in youth political efficacy leads to higher voter turnout, hopefully in local politics as well as on the state and national levels. Cultivating informed students and fostering an appreciation for the decisions that happen all around them will hopefully lead to more partnerships between students and policymakers and therefore more innovative and effective solutions.
Oregon Student Voice will be striving to work with local and student governing entities to incorporate education governance in the classroom.