EdSource held its annual symposium on education policy at the Oakland Convention Center. This year’s symposium, “Making It Work: Implementing California’s New Vision for School Success”, brought together dedicated educators & leaders in education to discuss the implications of the new systems our State of Board of Education adopted. Amongst those in attendance were CFJ student leaders Naudika Williams, Reginald Quartey & Yasmin Noriega in company with New America Media leader Silas Wilson, all of whom were the only student panelists; their topic? Improving school climate.
Our panelists spoke about their experiences with teachers, availability of school resources, and the types of schools it takes to ensure all students thrive. Reginald Quartey, a senior at Oakland High School, shared that his English teacher from last year saw beyond a stereotype & challenged him to perform at a much higher standard by actively working with him to improve. Reginald concluded by stating that “we need a cultural shift that values relationships between students and teachers to make sure all students thrive”. As the only student panelists, their perspectives provoked powerful conversations about the importance of recognizing students as valued partners to make it work. Our student panelists demonstrated how essential school climate is to ensure that all students thrive and succeed.