District-Level Recommendations for Youth-Led Change

  • Ensure structures created for youth and stakeholder participation in educational leadership, governance, and policymaking address equity and parity in participation. Existing arrangements of power and the cultures of participation and deliberation often run counter to the goals of such structures.
  • Design student empowerment and democratic governance efforts and policies that encourage systemwide structural and cultural transformation, as opposed to mere compliance. 
  • Prioritize efforts and policies aimed at nurturing youth voice, power and participation as a way to dismantle deficit-oriented beliefs about students, especially Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other marginalized young people. 
  • Develop a clear set of goals and indicators to track progress towards set policy and program goals with student leaders and partner organizations.
  • Honor the work, knowledge, and experience that community organizations and social movements hold and develop partnerships grounded in a shared pursuit of educational justice and equity.
  • Emphasize and build deliberate mechanisms so that policy initiatives center the importance of knowledge transferand continuing to build upon, sustain, and cultivate existing efforts.