Oct 19, 2011

Having Their Say: College Students Get In On Ed Reform [Or, Well, I Think Jonathan's Title Says It All]


Jonathan Wall is the StudentsFirst Campus Director at Morehouse College. He is a senior from Raleigh, NC, studying Sociology and Child Development. Jonathan is also on the board of directors for the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP and has held leadership positions in Morehouse's Pre-Law Society and Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity. In 2009, he and his best friend founded the Outstanding Community Leaders Scholarship, which provided a $1,000 scholarship to a student from his former high school. In 2011, he was one of four nationally selected as an Allstate Martin Luther King Jr. Give Back Hero for his community service and advocacy work.
As young adults not too far removed from the public school setting, college students are in a great position to call for overhauling outdated policies that keep our education system from living up to its potential. However, the voice of college students has until recently largely been excluded from the education reform debate. I’m excited to be part of the new movement to change that.
Too many of our education policies seem to reflect the wants of adults rather than the needs of students. The "Last In First Out" policy, in which teacher layoffs are based on seniority and not job performance, is probably the clearest example of this problem.
Students need great teachers, whether they are veterans or people newer to the profession. No student benefits from ineffective instructors whose employment is a bi-product of years within the system rather than effectiveness on the job, and no society benefits from a generation of under-educated youths. Yet, in many states and districts, there is a sustained effort to keep seniority as the determining factor when layoffs unfortunately arise. It's a terrible problem, yet it is just one of the many issues that make up our public education dilemma.
Far too often, we as students are generalized as being too young and inexperienced to present opinions on potential solutions to problems that have affected us and those we care about. That's why I'm so excited to be part of StudentsFirst On Campus. I believe it will be a great outlet for college students to gain a better understanding of education reform and how to affect change while advocating for policies that are in the best interest of America’s youth.

No comments:

Post a Comment