From our friends at “I Am My School”:
New York City boasts the largest school system in the the country. We spend more $$$ on education per student than any school district in the world. Yet for decades half our classmates haven’t graduated, and as many as 60% are still not proficient in reading or math.
The experts keep trying to fix the problems. They also keep trying to fix us.
They test us. They grade our teachers. They restructure and rearrange and reassign. They spend, spend, and spend some more.
They all claim to “keep students first.”
Yet despite the activity and the money, former Chancellor Joel Klein says of all the attempts to fix schools: “Adults have been collaborating for years, and kids keep getting screwed.”
That’s because rarely do they ask our opinions on what problems affect us most, or how best to solve them. Rarely do they create space for us to initiate change. Rarely do they hear us when we talk.
Through “I Am My School,” students mobilize other students to do something about the problems in our schools. We recognize that our schools partly reflect what we bring to them: the decisions we make everyday about what’s important, our priorities about what’s cool, the effort we invest in our studies, and the energy we create among our peers.
When we hear the cries of those around us, and see opportunities to fix problems and create change, we initiate action. The kind of action that produces change.
The change we hope to see in the world begins with me, because “I Am My School.” And it begins with you. Real change in 1,700 NYC schools begins one student at a time, one school at a time.