Policy-making can drive, inform, implement and evaluate almost every part of schools today. Affecting every part of education, it can also compel Meaningful Student Involvement.
What It Is
Policy-making includes legislation at any level, grantmaking guidelines, program requirements, program regulations, and initiatives by school boards, mayors, superintendents, or governors. More than one student voice campaign has the motto, “Nothing about me without me.” They are frequently addressing about education policy-making, which is often done to and at students rather than with them. Always the target of formal decisions in schools, students are rarely engaged in the processes that affect them most. Meaningful Student Involvement in policy-making includes familiarity with education-specific jargon, as well as opportunities to address issues important to them, modify adult-driven policies, and partnering with adults to assess effectiveness.
Where Meaningful Student Involvement Fits
Policies and procedures can be created and amended to promote Meaningful Student Involvement throughout schools. This includes creating specific funding opportunities that support student voice and student engagement; facilitating ongoing professional development for educators focused on Meaningful Student Involvement; and integrating this new vision for students into classroom practice, building procedures, district/state/federal policy, and ultimately engendering new cultures throughout education that constantly focus on students by constantly having students on board.