About the Students Speak Out Project: "What is Achievement?"
The federal education policy agenda is “innovation”. K-12 as we know it isn’t producing the outcomes our nation needs, and we’re seeking strategies for improvement. Mostly, the US Department of Education is seeking to identify and scale-up/replicate models that have been demonstrated to improve student achievement. Yet the definition of “achievement” we’re using is quite limited, as are our methods of assessment. Perhaps too limited if the country aims to truly innovate and play a competitive role in the global economy throughout the 21st century. It’s possible that a shift in our thinking and much more innovation (perhaps as opposed to replication) is necessary as we seek to reach our goals.
It’s well worth exploring further: If we want real innovation, should we broaden the definition of student achievement?
The goal of this project is for teens from diverse experiences and backgrounds to be given an opportunity to step back from the way we operate today and consider the definition of student achievement. Whatever the outcomes of this project, Citizens League will seek for teens' findings to be an organized part of the related dialogue now being considered at state and national levels.
The project will consist of 8-10 weeks of online dialogue, and will culminate with a final report circulated nationally to people making key decisions about the future of K-12. There will also be opportunities to advocate for findings. We will select a handful of lead teen commentators for the project to get the conversation started each week, but our intention is that the dialogue take place between a much larger group of teens and older adults.
If you have questions or feedback, or if you are a teacher or youth leader and would like to discuss ways to get the teens you work with involved, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org