A group of juniors and seniors from four HISD campuses is on a mission to give their peers a voice in public education—and they have created a new Student Congress to do it.
More than a dozen students from Bellaire, Carnegie Vanguard, Lamar, and Yates high schools founded the congress last spring, after participating in senior Zaakir Tameez’s Texas Performance Standards Project at Carnegie Vanguard.
“We were originally called ‘Our Shared Future’ and talked about current events,” explains Outreach Chair Amy Fan, now a junior at Bellaire High School. “But as we met with city leaders from all over Houston, our conversations would constantly lead back to education. Yet the only people with whom we could share our critiques was each other.”
The students decided to form a Congress in the hopes of influencing district policies by providing a steady stream of real-time feedback to HISD administrators.
“The Student Congress will continue to serve as a vein for student input long after we graduate,” said Fan. “The causes may change from year to year, but as long as the structure stays in place, students will continue to have their voices heard.”
Now more than 300 members strong, the Student Congress is open to all students attending HISD high schools.
“We brought 125 students from 25 different schools to the Nov. 13 Board of Education meeting,” noted Tameez. “I think it shows the level of interest urban high school students have in their education, and the commitment of the 25 public schools who helped to bus and carpool students there who had no other means of transportation.”
Become a member! Next Meeting: Jan. 10, 2015
The next meeting will take place from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, in the cafeteria of Austin High School (1700 Dumble St., 77023), and new members will be accepted at that time.
To become (or remain) an active member, students must be enrolled at an HISD high school, attend at least one meeting per semester, and select a committee on which to serve. New members may join a committee by speaking with one of the five committee chairs on Jan. 10.
Interested students may also sign up to be included on the mailing list here.