CCC Report: Youth Weigh In: The Educational Priorities of New York City High School Students
Published April 2007
CCC’s YouthAction NYC program undertook a year-long project to identify and address the gaps between students’ educational ideals and their everyday high school experiences, and found that while the high school students they interviewed reported shared values and educational goals, many of these were absent in their own school experiences.
YouthAction NYC members conducted a small focus group and surveyed 102 high school students from 23 different schools across New York City, and spoke with parents, teachers, administrators, education advocates, elected officials, and DOE representatives to gain their perspectives. The primary goal was to contribute a youth perspective.
The students CCC’s YouthAction students interviewed imagined and sought a high school community that included: talented and responsive teachers, smaller class sizes, school buildings with sufficient space, modern equipment and current books and materials, an engaging curriculum, a safe and orderly environment, stronger bridges between school and home, an inclusive school culture that promotes student/teacher collaboration and participation, and a stimulating regimen of after-school activities. Yet, the high school students interviewed reported that too many of these shared values and educational goals are absent in their own school experiences.
The report offers fourteen policy recommendations intended to fill the gaps between what students say they need and value and what they are currently getting (or not getting) in the schools they attend.