Prichard Committee’s Student Voice Team ‘does democracy’
Special to the Louisville Courier-Journal
by: Rachel Belin
Feb. 6, 2015
“For years, while mobilizing parents and civic business leaders to push for better Kentucky schools, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence had considered the idea of including students in its work.
But it took young people themselves, in sync with adult leadership, to make the concept a reality.
When 14 Central Kentucky students worked for the better part of the 2012-13 school year to gather research, observe policy-makers in action, reach out to other youth across the state and confer with allies across the country, the result was a compelling presentation at the committee’s spring meeting.
The teens laid out their argument for student integration. “In school, we learn about democracy,” said Ross Boggess, then a sophomore at Henry Clay High School in Lexington. “Why don’t we work with the Prichard Committee and do democracy?”
It was a significant moment in the organization’s 30-year history and led to the vote to inaugurate the Student Voice Team as a component of the broader organization. The embrace of students as policy partners speaks to the value of engaging young people in substantive efforts to improve our schools. And the benefits are mutual.”