New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo created the New York Education Reform Commission in April, bringing together experts in education, business and local communities to suggest reforms.
The current commission does not include any current students, something Mark Svensson of Orangeburg and other students in New York are hoping to change.
“Students know best what works and does not work for them when it comes to education," said Svensson, a Pearl River High School graduate. "Having students’ recommendations and insight is critical if we want to adequately address flaws in the system."
The group is asking Cuomo to include two current secondary school students in New York State and graduate of a New York secondary school currently in college.
"Students have invaluable and unparalleled insight into the inner workings of schools," students wrote in a letter to Cuomo. "Students must not only be heard, but also be put in a position where their ideas can be put into action."
To this point, Cuomo has agreed to give current students the opportunity to testify at regional meetings and work with the commission to make sure student voices are heard. They will also be able to submit reports of their own suggesting reforms.
Richard Parsons, a retired Citigroup chairman, Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Geoffrey Canada, founder and CEO of Harlem Children's Zone are currently members of the commission.
To learn more about the student movement for reform, go to www.StuVoice.org or join the weekly Twitter chat #StuVoice Mondays at 8:30 p.m.