Organization of Study

The case study begins with a brief section that explores the local and broader context in which youth voice and organizing began in ESUHSD, highlighting the instrumental role that CFJ had in organizing youth and working with school leaders at the early stages of this effort. 

Next, the study explores how the LCAP represented an opportunity for the district to advance and disseminate this work. 

We then explore three major themes that arose in our analysis and during our visit and conversations with District stakeholders:

  • The centrality of addressing both district and school structure and culture in implementing educational change
  • The relationship between this work and the civic identities and civic literacies of students
  • The generative nature of youth empowerment, emphasizing how The District has moved along a continuum towards more authentic collaboration with students

Following, this case study documents the specific impact that these efforts have had on district practices based on youth voice, power, and participation. This section is organized around three key areas of impact in terms of district practices:

  • Reinforcing existing district priorities and practices
  • Refining the work of The District by adding additional perspectives, relevancy, and nuance
  • Generating new and creative ideas, initiatives, and practices

We then outline enduring challenges along with a set of recommendations to further The District’s efforts to attain more equitable outcomes for students and families based on youth expertise and experience.

The study concludes by drawing connections with efforts to build student voice, power and participation as a key influence in how The District is responding to COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter uprisings.