United States Office of Education Office of Students and Youth

The Office of Students and Youth is a former program of the United States Office of Education, now known as the United States Department of Education. Launched in 1969, the first leader of the office was Toby Moffet.


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the office was created for several reasons:

  • To seek technical and financial assistance for innovative student-run programs
  • Keep USOE tuned in to students, and
  • Present a national overview of school tensions and ways of dealing with them
  • Run the Student Information Center in Washington, D.C., staffed mainly by local students, the center collects information on innovations in public high schools, especially those started by students; student rights; and participation in governance.
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The Student Information Center also established a clearinghouse of information on secondary school issues, especially student-initiated reforms.



  • Moffett, A.J., Jr. (May 1970) “Youth Gets a Voice in New Student Center,” Nation’s Schools, 85(5). pp. 57-59.
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Youth Activism Project

logo YAPThe Youth Activism Project in Washington, DC is led by Wendy Lesko. Their national clearinghouse encourages those not yet of voting age to be change agents by influencing both their peers and policymakers to address local and global problems, including in the education system.

This nonprofit offers free strategic advice and leads to other youth-led efforts that are pursuing solutions for similar issues.

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Youth Education Alliance

Youth Education Alliance (YEA) is a group of teenagers and young adults in Washington, D.C. who know that we have the power to make a change. They bring youth together to identify the problems in our schools and solve them collectively. Through direct action and community education, YEA holds city leaders and school officials accountable to young people in the nation’s capital.

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District of Columbia School Board Student Representatives

District of Columbia Public Schools

District of Columbia Public SchoolsFollowing are facts about students on school boards in Washington, D.C. that were compiled for the SoundOut Students on School Boards Toolbox. The District of Columbia Board of Education serves as the state board of education and the district board of education in D.C.

  • District of Columbia Board of Education serves in an advisory capacity only.
  • There are 9 elected members, with 11 members total, with two elected high school juniors and seniors from public or public charter schools can serve for a school year with a 2 term limit.
  • These student members are elected by the citywide Student Advisory Council and confirmed by the board.
  • As members of any board committee, student members “have the right to vote, to make a quorum, and to participate as fully as any other member of the committee” (5 DC ADC s 116).
  • Student votes during meetings of “the committee of the whole,” however, are counted only for purposes of establishing a voting record and do not become part of the official vote.

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District of Columbia State Board of Education Student Advisory Committee

The District of Columbia State Board of Education has created a Student Advisory Committee. The DC SBOE Student Advisory Committee will be a voice for all students in the District of Columbia and a communication link between the State Board and other education decision-makers and students. Students who are committee members will also engage in service-learning projects that will help them develop their leadership skills.


  • The Student Advisory Committee is comprised of 17 students. Five students will be selected from the most populous DCPS high schools; five students will be selected from the most populous public charter high schools; five students will be selected from other schools. The State Board’s Student Representative will co-chair the Student Advisory Committee.
  • Committee members will meet at least four times a year
  • Committee members will conduct student forums throughout the District.
  • Applicants must meet the following requirements:
    • Be a District of Columbia resident;
    • Be a sophomore, junior, or senior in either a traditional public high school (District of Columbia Public Schools) or a public charter high school; and
    • Possess a GPA of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale.

The application is attached to this release and will be available online at http://sboe.dc.gov/page/student-representatives. Additionally, applications will be sent electronically to school leaders and principals and will be available through community organizations. Applications may also be picked up at the State Board of Education office.

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