Students Speak Out

Students Speak Out: Minnesota

Students Speak Out Archives

Here is a summary of some of the recent happenings on Students Speak Out:

SCHOOL YEAR 08/09: Milwaukee Student-Led Groups

On the SSO Web site, students know their ideas and experiences are seriously considered as part of the public conversation. With an investment from Futures First, two groups of student leaders determined over two fall 2008 SSO Issues Conventions public problems that they wanted to address at their schools. Over the next six months, the students took part in a four-step civic engagement process to learn more about the problems, define them for themselves, and address them.

The "safety and discipline group" uncovered hidden costs of MPS's School Resource Officer program. The student leaders at first wanted to eliminate the SRO program all together. But contrary to their expectations, the young leaders learned through two months of information gathering online and on video that their peers and their families indeed felt safer due to police presence. They would also document a negative consequence of the program, however. Program implementation was reducing students' sense of community in their schools as well as their trust in the police at large.

After much discussion about how to improve opportunities for authentic relationships between students and teachers, the "quality teaching and learning group" defined the value of productive advisory periods. The determined that advisory periods ought to be in every Milwaukee middle and high school and would be structured to allow for the following (see their attached platform for their rationale):

  • Cultivation of relationships/community between teachers and students.
  • Give students input into school-level decision making.
  • Stress management.
  • Organization.

On April 3, 2009, students presented their platform to about 25 professors and candidate teachers from the School of Education at Cardinal Strich University. Read more about students' work:

SPRING 08: Workshop Series

In the spring of 2008 SSO Milwaukee hosted two workshops in small chartered schools (which are sponsored by Milwaukee Public Schools) and a third workshop at an organization called Runnin' Rebels with students who have been in juvenile detention and are transitioning back to school. Students produced 20 videos on subjects of their interest: school discipline strategies, the importance of a sense of community at school, school design, what is "good teaching," and more. Later, our Milwaukee-based associate compiled their videos into a single, 5 minute piece (above) that presented the nature of their work. Also, the students had online forum discussions about the content of their videos with other students and teachers they recruited from their schools.

SPRING 08: I am Minnesota's Future Video Contest

In May of 2008, Minnesota celebrated a big birthday—150 years of statehood! But Minnesota youth will inherit the results of decisions that adults make (or fail to make) today. SSO asked students to create videos describing the state they want to live in as an adult, and what they think ought to be done to make sure that happens.

» View Entries and Winners Announcement
» Contest Details and Official Rules

SCHOOL YEAR 07/08: Student-Led Groups

During the 2007/08 school year students led the discussion on two special projects: Alternative Schools and School Safety. The student leaders from each group encouraged other students to share their stories on SSO via video and written posts. To see what they learned, you can visit their groups and read the findings below. The bullying group ultimately presented their findings at an Minneapolis Public Schools teacher training. The alternative schools group plan to present their findings to Representative Carlos Mariani of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

FALL 07: Video About Students Speak Out

SUMMER 07: Students as Commentators on Ed Policy Ideas

In the summer of 2007 prominent adult leaders like Chris Stewart and Dick McFarland asked our Minneapolis student panel to respond to their ideas and questions about declining enrollment. Check out the archive for rich discussions that will stimulate your thinking.

» View the Commentator Archive



© 2010   Created by Citizens League on Ning.   Create a Ning Network!

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy  |  Terms of Service