“Young People Must Be Heard”

Read the commentaries from our May 15, 2016 Courier-Journal package

Kentucky Students can be More than Passive Consumers

By Eliza Jane Schaeffer

Students are the frontline of education. We see our peers who secretly celebrate when they’re suspended, the students who aren’t challenged by a certain curriculum change, and the students who are bullied in the bathroom. We are experts on the population on which the success of the entire school system depends.

Playground Project Not Child's Play

By Izzy Taylor

When our class heard about the renovation, we were excited. The kids had been without a playground this year and had lots of ideas for a new playground. We were sure the adults in charge would welcome our help. How else would they know what we would like?

A Win for Students This Legislative Session

By Amanda Wahlstedt

Jay Shrader, a senior at Shelby County High School, worries about how he will pay for college, calling his acceptance to Eastern Kentucky University “bittersweet.” He knows, “the first semester at EKU is about $3500... and the last time I was ever around a thousand dollars was never.”

STEM: The Roots of the Gender Gap

By Madison Ortega

If you are a girl who is interested in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM), or if you are plainly a person that cares about the fate of Kentucky’s innovational future, there is something you must know: women have less than a 25% representation in these critical and high-paying fields.

Student Perspectives Essential to Understanding Gaps

By Susie Smith & Andrew Brennen

As biracial and African-American Kentucky students, the color of our skin has always been a relevant part of our education careers. From a young age, we were peppered with questions about our hair and requests to touch it. We were grilled on why we felt so comfortable speaking in full sentences, known as speaking “white.” We were called “Oreo,” the implication being that we were black only on the outside. Success is not something people that look like us are supposed to achieve. Many of our peers have had experiences like ours.

The Real Special Need: Being Heard

By Jack Bradley with Rachel Bradley

I live in parallel universes—the universe of special education and the universe of not-so-special education. I have a foot in each. Every day I am split in two.

Education System Accountability Begins with Students

By Lydia Burns & Jamie Smith

Congressional reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) last fall sparked the interest of policy experts and educators hoping to see a fresh wave of education improvement. They were excited by the prospect of overhauling the current problematic school accountability systems and envisioning ways to replace them with a collection of well-researched and thoughtfully-designed systems for states to use as models.

Schools can do More to Learn the Language of Support

By Sam Swayze

Imagine going to school in Kentucky without knowing English. You can’t understand the lessons; you’re foreign to the culture; and worst of all, your parents are no better off.