students speak out about their education

STUDENTS

SPEAK

A Project for student voice in educational decision making

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What do you need in order to do well in school?

Focus Group Report

student voices - read the report

73 Massachusetts secondary school students participated in focus group interviews on what they need to do well in school.

State House Briefing

Students addressed legislators at the State House

Massachusetts high school students testified to state legislators at the State House in Boston on Safe and Supportive Schools.

Current Conversations

Students speak out about racial injustice

High school students shared what it is like to be a student during the pandemic and amidst growing activism for racial justice.

What students are talking about…

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

“Cooperation means learning faster.
And when you and your teacher and your classmates are working together like this, it’s like a triangle of good.”

EQUITY

“It would go a long way to help if there were teachers from the community who could understand the needs of students of color.… I feel like if more teachers understood our backgrounds, things would go better.”

RELATIONSHIPS

“As students, some of us spend more time with teachers and counselors than we do with our own families. They are the people who teach us and help set us up for our futures. We want to feel understood and accepted.”

GENUINE LEARNING

“This second type of achievement is the version I think we should be aiming for.… With safety, cooperation and community – rather than just memorization – all of our students will learn and achieve so much more.”

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

“For me, one of the most important parts of a safe and supportive school is that all the adults in the building understand how to care for and support all of the students.”

EQUITY

“There is a need for equitable treatment
and access to resources and opportunities for all students,
regardless of background or learning ability.”

RELATIONSHIPS

“The human relationships are what really matter and will truly build the community between students and staff in school. Without them, all the programs in the world won’t be able to help.”

GENUINE LEARNING

“I can tell teachers like this care because when they incorporate outside skills into our class, they’re setting us up to be more responsible adults.”

Students speak out at Massachusetts State House

In February 2020, students from a number of Massachusetts high schools presented testimony to state legislators in support of creating Safe and Supportive Schools. Learn more about the students’ advocacy and read each student’s testimony about what they need in order to do well in school.

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Current Conversations

In a series of Zoom interviews during summer 2020, Massachusetts high school students shared their perspectives on remote learning during the pandemic, the urgent need for racial justice, and the importance of including student voice in educational decision making.

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Focus Group Report

Released in the spring of 2019, the report Students’ Voices: Their Perspectives on How Schools Are and Should Be summarizes focus group interviews with a diverse group of Massachusetts secondary school students, including many quotes from students about what they need in order to do well in school and how they believe their schools should be assessed.

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