#FeedbackFriday – Do we need more student activists?
Today we ask the question – do we need more student activists? In case you haven’t heard, a group of students called the Newark Students Union, are actively staging a peaceful protest at the offices of Cami Anderson (Newark’s Superintendent of Schools). According to the group’s Facebook page, the students are protesting the policies of the school district and are simply looking for a seat at the table with regards to their own educations.
“We the students of the NPS, in order to establish and protect or rights, form student unity, voice our concerns and grievances, promote active participation in the policy making process, and to secure the integrity of our education for ourselves and for future students do establish the Newark Students Union.”
– Newark Students Union’s Mission Statement
What interests us at edu|FOCUS is the sheer determination and perseverance of this small but very vocal group. Reminiscent of student groups from the 60’s they represent a struggle for everything that is wrong with our education system as a whole; all reasons why The Franklin Foundation for Innovation was started in the first place. But these are students, not parents, fighting for their own futures and the right to receive an excellent education devoid of standardized testing pressures and declines in the availability of key arts, sports, and extra curricular activities. In an age where millions are spent on testing, and very little on things that engage students and keep them interested in school, their protest is both timely and relevant.
Visibly missing from the protest have been parents – who are seemingly taking a back seat in the struggle. A large number of teachers, however, are supporting the movement providing moral and logistical support to the students. As of this writing, the school district’s superintendent, Cami Anderson, has yet to even address the protesters which is not odd when you take into account the fact that students do not vote. So the question for #FeedbackFriday is this – do we need more student activists if we expect to truly reform education? Do our children, who’s futures hang in the balance with every new law past and every new test developed, have to take the reigns themselves or should parents step up and take the lead through every channel available? Do you agree with the movement or not?
Please share with the community and let’s have a healthy debate about student activism.