The North Carolina State Dept. of Public Instruction Task Force on Student Involvement was a sixteen-member committee appointed by N.C. State Superintendent of Public Instruction A. Craig Phillips for a one-year term of service. Their common goal was to promote positive, constructive student involvement in education throughout North Carolina.
The Task Force was founded by the State Superintendent to improve race relations between students and educators. After that, their participation was expanded to include most general areas of public education. Members served on curriculum advisory committees and accreditation teams; conducted surveys of student needs; participated in human relations and other in-service training programs; and promoted programs designed to improve the welfare of students.
The Task Force was headed by a student director, a high school senior and a part-time state employee, all working with a full-time adult director. Student members were:
- Geographically distributed across the state
- Reflected different racial, social, economic, and academic backgrounds
- Acted as a student voice to the State Department of Public Instruction
- Sought areas where student input would be effective, such as on school accreditation teams, conferences and teacher workshops, and curriculum evaluation committees
- Visited schools upon request to discuss different aspects of student involvement
- Listened to students’ and administrators’ ideas
- Helped students and educators work together to derive solutions to their own problems of apathy and unrest
Locally, student members were involved in many school and community activities, and the Task Force supported student-oriented and student-run programs across the state.
The Task Force also acted as a clearinghouse for student ideas on varied subjects, such as ecology, drugs, human relations, and curriculum, and transmits them to administrators, state officials, and other students.
These activities were all directed toward spurring other students in the state to become constructively involved in their schools and communities.
The Task Force wrote a number of reports focused on students and educators working together to take responsibility for solving their educational problems. Their findings covered general administrative policies, attitudes and actions of educators; attitudes and actions of students; extracurricular activities, student councils, human relations, and sensitive areas, including student elections for cheerleaders and prom queens, and curriculum.