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Students discuss the future of education at James Lick High School.  Photo: Jorge Valencia.

Students discuss the future of education at James Lick High School. Photo: Jorge Valencia.

Ruth Muluneh 

Special to El Observador

“It’s a Student Thing”, co-sponsored by Silicon Valley De-Bug and East Side Union High School District (ESUHSD) through the support of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, gave a place where students could talk about Common Core. This shift in education known as Common Core Standards is a Nation wide transition developed for students to grow in a new academic environment.

The event was a common ground where students, teachers and anyone who is involved in the East Side Union High School District of Silicon Valley can not only talk about Common Core but the roles students play in its implementation. “It’s a Student Thing” had a lot of activities to get students to show how much they understood about Common Core and small discussion groups where they not only talked about Common Core but also what they see in their schools that need improvement. It’s a Student Thing also showed what Common Core looked like and what it didn’t look like.

In one activity at “It’s a Student Thing”, questions were asked like “Do you use electronics, like laptops, in your class regularly?” or “How much do you know about Common Core based upon your teachers?” Students would then walk to a section of the room where there were signs like ‘Poor’ ‘Fair’ ‘Good’ and ‘Excellent’ to describe how much they agreed or disagreed with the statement.

This activity really made it obvious to ESUHSD members and teachers on how much students know about Common Core and it made it obvious on how students felt about their schools.

“It’s a Student Thing” also had an activity where people were put into small groups to discuss Common Core and issues at school that need to be addressed for goals to be achieved.

The cool thing about this activity is that the small groups didn’t only have students and teachers but also ESUHSD members and included them in these small groups. The small groups became a place where students could talk honestly to their peers, teachers and the people that actually decide on what goes on in school. It also gave a place where ESUHSD members could ask both students and teachers how they feel about certain things that go on in the schools and what they think need improvement. It was an honest, free space where questions were asked and true answers were given.

“It’s a Student Thing” became a place where students were able to speak their mind about Common Core as well as what is going on at their schools. It was a place where students expressed how they feel about Common Core and it was also a place where students learned more about their education.


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