We synthesize scholarship about participatory democracy, youth–adult partnerships, and thirdspace in order to develop guiding principles for an inclusive and democratic approach to improving schools.
This article evaluates the tensions with democratic education inherent in the federal School Improvement Grant program’s market-based school reforms. The paper culminates in a set of recommendations that are intended to re-center the purposes of public education for low-income students, students of color, and local communities in developing more equitable, democratic school turnarounds.
This article tracks the emergence of parent trigger policies, considers the political and financial forces that have supported the parent trigger movement, and examines evidence concerning the potential of this approach for improving schools, empowering parents, and enhancing democracy.
This commentary answers two questions: (1) Do the articles in this issue make the case that the democratic principles and practices the authors champion have been damaged by the standards-based, testing, and accountability regime of the past three decades? and (2) In light of the historical absence of these principles and practices in mainstream U.S. public schools, why raise these arguments now?
Introduction to the special issue of Teachers College Record
This article develops the concept and provides an illustrative portrait of teachers’ care-based resistance practices in the context of neoliberal school reform. Data presented come from a critical ethnographic study of policy enactment in an urban high school experiencing high levels of school reform.
The introduction to the volume offers a definition of student voice, a discussion of the philosophical and theoretical warrants for it, a brief summary of the history of the student voice movement in the United States, and a synopsis of extant research on the topic. It also describes the rationale for the volume, reviews the volume’s structure, and previews its 13 chapters.
This chapter tells the story of how and why one student who received a ticket for being late to school joined the fight against policies that criminalize students in Los Angeles Unified School District.
Drawing on data from two qualitative studies, this chapter argues that both school organizations and individual students will benefit from centering youth voices in student support systems. To do this, the author shares data from adolescents’ narratives that demonstrate how young people’s voices might (re)shape the central practices of school-based support processes.
This chapter shows how student positioning by adults shapes opportunities for students to learn collective systemic agency including practices such as organizing others, developing a systemic analysis, and taking action in complex institutions, such as schools. We argue that these learning opportunities are expanded when education professionals look beyond curricular experiences and attend to how students are positioned through discourse in the broader context of the school.
This chapter recounts the first 3 years of the Student Voice Collaborative (SVC) in New York City, a district supported student leadership initiative that engages high school aged youth in school reform work at school and district levels. Based on his experiences developing and running the SVC, the author identifies nine design and implementation principles that have made the group effective in supporting students so their voices can be heard by school leaders.
Community organizing efforts employ different types of research as they seek to address community issues. This chapter details the evolving use of research in a youth organizing effort in San Bernardino, CA that has addressed issues in schools, the educational system, and the broader community. We examine the youth organizers’ use of organizing research and youth participatory action research (YPAR) and the contributions of each form of research to the organizing effort.
In this chapter, two student members of the Student Voice Collaborative (SVC) describe their experiences as “Student Shadows” during the annual Quality Review process, used throughout the New York Department of Education to evaluate how well schools are organized to support student achievement. They chronicle how this experience enhanced their understanding of student voice, helped inspire meaningful changes to the rubric used by Quality Reviewers, and introduced a new model for school assessment that centers on students and educators as partners.
This chapter explores the influence of a youth participatory action research group, viewing the group’s efforts as challenges to racial inequality in education. The authors examine how individuals in positions of relative power—teachers, school administrators, and public officials—responded to the group’s advocacy efforts.
This chapter explores how youth organizers have injected themselves into education policy conversations in Philadelphia, asserting their agency and using their voices to shape how policymakers view them as well as the problems that confront them.
Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools is an organization of primarily middle school youth that formed after Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the city’s schools. This chapter describes Rethink’s first six years of operation, which culminated in school system policy changes and an HBO documentary about the organization’s groundbreaking work.
This concluding chapter examines how this book on student voice intersects with previous research about policy, especially policy implementation and sustainability. Mapping onto the themes of this volume, Discovering, Developing, and Demonstrating the power of student voice, I focus on three issues—legitimizing the role of young people in the policy and reform process; preparing adults to work with young people; and sustaining ongoing student voice work.
This article highlights the fact that certain elements inherent in the act of public teaching have their roots in Christian, particularly Biblical, thinking. The authors illustrate that although teaching is thought of as a secular activity, and although it is often assumed that religion has been expunged from public, including teacher, education, the sediments of religion remain present in how the teacher learns to imagine, construct, and enact his or her work as teacher as savior and martyr.
This article analyzes the role of venture philanthropy in shaping teacher education policies in the United States, with a particular focus on the role of the New Schools Venture Fund in promoting the Growing Excellent Achievement Training Academies for Teachers and Principals Act.
Two key uses of international assessments of achievement have been (a) comparing country performances for identifying the countries with the best education systems and (b) generating insights about effective policy and practice strategies that are associated with higher learning outcomes.
The authors of this article investigate the relationship between illustration complexity and the difficulty of PISA 2009 science items in the United States, Mexico, and China. They discuss the implications of their findings for systematically developing PISA science illustrated items.
The author of this commentary reviews and provides comments on the six articles that comprise this special issue on research conducted using PISA data.
The exploratory study presented in this article seeks to contribute to knowledge about test design and construction by focusing on the gap between context characteristics and student performance. The authors address two key questions: What are the characteristics of contexts used in the PISA science items? And what are the relationships between different context characteristics and student performance?
Introductory essay for the three subsequent manuscripts that providing historical analysis since 1865 of In Loco Parentis as a legal, institutional, and social feature of the American college and university campus. I characterize my Introduction as that of a senior scholar who endorses and supports the original and related essays of three younger, new historians of higher education.
This article argues that the power to discipline students in loco parentis was limited by countervailing emphases on college access and due process well before the legal revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s.
This article argues that the doctrine of in loco parentis served as the justification for the sweeping reconstruction of undergraduate life in the 1920s, when administrators and faculty instituted a host of academic, social, and psychological programs and services to help keep students in college.
Performance-based funding programs have become a popular state policy strategy for increasing college completions, among other things. This study asks, To what extent does the introduction of performance funding programs impact two-year degree completion among participating states? Using a difference-in-differences technique, we find that the program had no effect on average and mixed results for the individual states. We conclude that the policy is not a “silver bullet” for improving community college completions.
This study examines the effects of metropolitan school district fragmentation―the proliferation of public school districts within a metropolitan area―on the trajectory of racial/ethnic school segregation between 2002 and 2010.
This introduction is a brief reflection on the import of the Gordon Commission’s work to future considerations of assessment and learning.