Are you being fairly represented?

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Are you being fairly represented?

Ian Gwin

Ian Gwin

Ian Gwin

Staff Editorial

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Students and teachers should have a more active role in decision-making. Currently, the institutions in place to govern the school such as the Building Leadership Team (BLT) and the Instructional Council (IC) are dominated by teachers and do not always produce fair representation for students. Our multifaceted system of ASB, student senate and department heads works, but does not address the needs of the masses.
During the all-school lip dub preparations, the entire schedule was altered and classrooms were disrupted on the eve of finals. What was the purpose of the project? To project a newly reformed image of our school, a remedy to a problem– a substandard reputation– inherited from graduates past. That is reasonable, but promotion and branding-like behavior should come second to the insurance of academic achievement. Creating an image is a duty of the administration, while teaching and learning are the prerogative of those who inhabit the classroom every day.
Language arts teacher Kristin Storey implements a policy of student-to-teacher feedback after each unit of study. She does this to improve her own teaching and the learning experience of the students. Inquiring about the effectiveness of a lesson or method can result, either gradually or immediately, in positive change.
Many colleges and universities use this kind of tool for students to evaluate their professors, and Storey believes that they wouldn’t do so if they weren’t helpful. Improvement is only effective when students, for whom the improvements are for, present their own points of concern — not just what administrators pick up on.
Eighteenth century philosopher and political theorist Edmund Burke referred to America as exemplifying “dissidence of dissent.” Boston Latin School, the oldest school in the country, has always taught its high school students to “dissent with responsibility.” This means that contradiction to the established norms is encouraged, as long as it is justifiable and done in a mature manner. It is in this vein that we hope our school can operate.
Students are ones truly shaped by their time spent in this building: their experiences are an intrical part of their futures, meaning that their input is essential. We propose a more democratic method of governance that includes the voices of many different students. Not just those who already have the spirit and passion to represent their class, but everyone who has found problems or room for improvement in their experiences. It’s not possible to glean information from the entire populace, but the adoption of instruments like a mandatory feedback form or a wider open-door policy would signal a move in the right direction.
Students to teachers to administration is a symbiotic connection, and, like any relationship, it requires open communication and commitment to a common goal: the success of students.

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