Student representatives from around the state convened in mid-November to develop proposals for the State Board of Education to encourage student involvement in and improve education.
The Student Advisory Board of Education (SABE), a program of the California Association of Student Councils, presented its recommendations addressing standardized testing, student board involvement, disciplinary actions, alternate accreditation and life skills instruction.
During the five-day conference, The Harker School was recognized for its Cum Laude Society and its emphasis on real-world applications in various class curricula. The school was also highlighted for allowing students to redeem physical education credits for participation in sports and for in-school suspension policies that allow suspended students to keep up with class work.
Darren Syu, Gr. 12, participated in the discussion about student involvement in decision-making. His group aimed to write a proposal that stressed a more active student board and a greater awareness of opportunities to serve as representatives in education development.
Other suggestions included creating a merit-based fee waiver to University of California and California State University schools, and recognizing students who meet the requirements of the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma Program. The group believed that standardized tests like the STAR test did not reflect the full potential of students because of a lack of motivation.
Additionally, the students recommended integrating life skills instruction and practical application into high school curricula and establishing accreditation that recognizes extracurricular activities as supplemental courses – that’s where Harker’s recognition came in.
These students will meet again in February for the Student Advisory Board on Legislation in Education to refine their ideas and present proposals to senate and assembly committees on education.