We are expanding to six sites over the next year, in Providence, Central Falls, and Pawtucket. More than 180 youth this year will have the opportunity to become powerful leaders through our weekly advanced trainings! Read More
“Rhode Island is on the verge of creating a huge and permanent underclass of teenagers based solely on the arbitrary scores of a standardized test….” Steven Brown, the Rhode Island ACLU’s Executive Director. Read more from the Providence Journal Article published on February 24, 2012
For five years now, Young Voices has been supporting youth to influence education policies at the school, district, and state level. This work has included successfully pushing for an equitable state funding formula, effective teacher evaluations, and teacher certification that is connected to classroom performance, as well as playing an active role in helping RI’s leaders obtain a $75 million Race to the Top grant.
For the past two years, we have focused on ensuring that youth have real input into the redesign of their schools. Learn more about this work. We created, and replicated, an
effective model for supporting students to truly be partners in school redesign. In our model, students are supported to study the school’s reform plan, get the input of the whole student body on it, and work alongside the principal and teachers to implement changes suggested by all the students.
We are now ready to share this model with communities throughout Rhode Island and
across the country. Nationally, more than 800 schools have been identified as “turnaround
schools.” Schools across this country should be able to benefit from using our successful
model to improve their school culture, graduation rates, and test scores. Students can and
should be critical partners in reaching school reform goals—honestly, who would know
better than students how to reach goals such as increasing graduation rates? If you would
like to learn more, or bring this model to your community, please contact us
Young Voices was featured in Sunday’s front page article about education in Central Falls. In addition to discussing how our work is of national significance, the article features interviews with three Central Falls youth involved in our Leadership Transformation Academy at the high school.
With the support of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, we have provided weekly leadership training to students at Central Falls High School. The students have met regularly with school administration. They also surveyed the whole student body to get their input on their school’s Reform Plan, and used this data to create an Action Plan to improve their school. This Action Plan will be the basis of student organizing at the school for the next two years.
It’s been an incredibly productive Spring at Young Voices. Youth have testified at State House hearings, partnered in the redesign of their schools, conducted extensive research and have met with school and statewide leaders. We’ve also had 30 new youth join Young Voices, which now operates at four sites across the state! Read more in our Spring 2011 Update.