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), a pilot 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-lead pilot independent of Chalkboard Project. Chalkboard strongly believes in authentic student voice and only provides support as students request it, 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 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.