Future Leaders Make Recommendations About Their Education
Twenty-One student leaders from all seven Flagstaff area high schools met on September 26, 2017 to discuss their ideas for what a world-class education system could look like. They drafted a three page report with their recommendations around goals and and actions for community leaders, policy makers and citizens to take for creating this educational system.
Our student leaders believe that a world-class system of education helps students find their passion and prepares them for achieving life-time success and remove the “stigma” of not attending a four-year college. “Vocational courses often generate passion among students and we need to find innovative ways to bring the same level of passion to academic courses”, the report states.
“It’s important for the modern day schooling system to think outside the box, add excitement, and provide more than just memorization or teaching to the test,” the students say. They recommend a better balance between “traditional” curriculum and practical skills “such as resume writing, balancing a checkbook, filing taxes, and educating students on the cost of student loan debt”.
Students also recognized the importance of early childhood education and desire to “make preschool more financially accessible to everyone” and”make parents aware of the importance of preschool education”. The report also points out that our present educational system promotes students to the next curricular objective often without demonstrating mastery, which sets them up to fail later.
Their report is clear about standardized tests. “It needs to be understood that standardized tests are often counterproductive to educating students. Often, students do not take the standardized tests seriously since they have no effect on their own performance evaluation”, the report states. Students recommend that “money spent on standardized testing should go into the classroom”, specifically toward teacher salaries. “It is unacceptable to be $14,000 below the national average for teacher wages”, student leaders wrote in their report.
The participants were representatives of the student bodies at BASIS, Coconino High School, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, Flagstaff High School, Northland Preparatory Academy, Ponderosa High School, and Summit High School. Paul Bearchell and Brandi Brown of Coconino Community College’s Phi Beta Kappa organization served as facilitator and recorder for the event.
Sponsors for the Future Leaders Town Hall are: