In Summer 2016, a group of high school students met to address Oregon’s most pressing education challenges and examine students’ role in learning. What emerged was Oregon Student Voice (OSV), an initiative that strives to uncover systemic inequities present in schools and empower students to be active agents in shaping their K-12 experience. Today, OSV is led by high school students from schools across Oregon. Their charge is to increase student leadership skills so they can become:
- Civic leaders
- Effective communicators
- Innovative thinkers
- Change agents, and
- Equity advocates
How Does It Work?
OSV is a student-led initiative supported by Chalkboard Project. Chalkboard strongly believes in authentic student voice and provides support including youth development, financial, and an adult advisor.
What has authentic student voice accomplished so far?
Oregon Student Voice achieved several milestones during their first pilot year:
- Received 10+ youth development trainings that enabled OSV members to create internal organizational practices.
- Conducted focus groups in partnership with DHM Research and launched a student written statewide high school student survey on their K-12 learning experience. The data helped inform and develop initiatives and advocacy priorities to discuss with K-12 decision makers.
- Gained local, state, and national attention from the media and education-focused organizations for their initial work.
- Participated in the Ethnic Studies Coalition resulting in the passage of HB 2845 Ethnic Studies Bill.
- Wrote and published two op-ed pieces for the Oregonian how race and prejudice are addressed in the classroom and the importance of ethnic studies in school curriculum.