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Student Voice Launches Roadmap for Youth Engagement in the Next Department of Education, Calls On Organizations to Sign On

1,500 students from all 50 states shape Student Voice’s youth engagement recommendations for the Biden-Harris administration and the next Department of Education.

Update
December 11, 2020

Today, Student Voice launches “A Roadmap to Authentically Engage Youth Voice in the U.S. Department of Education”, an entirely-student drafted report about how the Department of Education can meaningfully engage young people as partners in decision-making. We call on all youth-serving groups to sign onto a letter of support to the Biden-Harris transition team regarding the report and especially welcome any interested local, state and national youth-led organizations to sign on.

In the present moment, the Department of Education faces a multiplicity of both longstanding and unprecedented challenges to advance equitable learning for every student. Students are the sole stakeholder group with the lived experience of learning in the context of our world’s current challenges. Therefore, we must be essential partners in developing accurate policy priorities and actionable plans to substantively impact our education.

Student Voice’s  “A Roadmap to Authentically Engage Youth Voice in the U.S. Department of Education” has been actively shaped by survey responses from over 1,500 students, listening sessions with over 100 students since the election, and the Student Bill of Rights framework that is endorsed by 7,000 students.

“A Roadmap to Authentically Engage Youth Voice in the U.S. Department of Education” policy report contains five key mechanisms to engage young people as meaningful partners in the next Department of Education:

  1. Ensure the next Secretary of Education prioritizes student voice
  2. Convene regular listening sessions and roundtable discussions with students and stakeholder meetings with student groups across offices at the Department
  3. Include students on all commissions, workgroups, and convenings across the department
  4. Reinstate staff person(s) in ED focused on youth engagement 
  5. Establish a “Learn Back Better” federal advisory committee with student members about the intersections between COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change and ED’s role

To sign on to the letter of support, organizations can add their name to this form  by close of day on Wednesday, December 16. To view the “A Roadmap to Authentically Engage Youth Voice in the U.S. Department of Education” report in full, visit the resource page of the Student Voice website.

Our Call to #StartWithStudents: The 2020 elections may be over, but our work is just getting started. Student Voice is organizing at the federal, state and local levels to ensure all decision-makers start with students when making decisions about our educations. Across the country, students are building transformative power to hold leaders accountable to advancing education justice. Working at all levels of government, students are ready to make the Student Bill of Rights and Move School Forward Principles a reality in every school. Learn more about Student Voice’s call to #StartWithStudents at StuVoice.org/start-with-students.

About Student Voice

Student Voice is a by-students, for-students 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states to equip students as storytellers, organizers and institutional partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity. Through direct civic action, Student Voice helps students hold their schools and surrounding communities accountable to the Student Bill of Rights and prepares them to become lifelong agents of social and political change. For more information about Student Voice, visit our website at StuVoice.org and follow @Stu_Voice and #StuVoice on social media.

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