September 28th, 2009

Duncan & Obama Want to Know What Students Think

Students should be considered among the foremost experts on the state of education today, but it’s rare they are asked directly for their thoughts on improving schools, curriculum or even how education is affecting their lives.

Seems like that might change now that President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have put out a call to action to students nationwide. Students aged 13 and older have been asked to create short videos (2 minutes or less) that describe “the role education will play in achieving their dreams, and the goals they will set for themselves to get there.”

They have until November 2 to get their videos in and the top three videos will be crowned winners and given $1,000. In his video announcement, Duncan suggests that winners spend the money on college, books or “anything they choose.” Who knows how they’ll actually spend the money, but it’s probably good incentive and it will be interesting to see what kinds of videos students submit.

Before the election, we collected people’s advice on education for the next president. We talked with dozens of education experts and policymakers, and we also caught up with quite a few students. The students’ advice for then-President-elect Obama was candid, thoughtful and unique.

Students live out the policies set in place by policymakers and school administrators, and they’re the ones whose lives are most affected by an education system that isn’t working. Isn’t it time they had a chance to speak up? Maybe now’s the time to listen to what they have to say.

I Am What I Learn [Ed.gov]

Ed Advice for President Obama [Multimedia project]

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