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Monday, April 6, 2009

The Largest Stakeholder at Schools: Students

It's important that any organization involve stakeholders in some way either by having them on boards or committees, by surveying them, by inviting them to events, or through other methods.  Organizations understand that the nature of stakeholders is that they have an investment, a stake, in some way in the organization.  When organizations bypass or ignore their stakeholders, the organization moves ahead without vital information.

Yet often in schools we do not involve our largest stakeholders: students. We would not implement a major improvement without seeking buy-in from teachers and without fully informing parents.  How often do we involve students only peripherally even though they are the largest, numbers-wise, stakeholder in our schools?  Students have much to say and have spent considerable time thinking about school, yet we often don't ask their opinions.  Do you involve your students, poll them, put them on committees and boards?  All students, not just the student council and/or student leaders?