Academic freedom, or the right to control one’s education, is an important aspect of the rights students have at school. It includes the right to access resources, to choose our own courses and teachers, and to consent to methods of assessment and evaluation. It also includes the right to decide what is important to learn, and to choose the best-suited environment for learning. Academic freedom is also about our freedom of thought and the right to determine for ourselves what gets to take up space in our minds.
Unfortunately, most schools deny this right to young people. In fact, most students are treated as if we are too lazy to control our own learning and that our interests are trivial. We are cajoled, threatened, and punished into learning in ways determined by others rather than ourselves. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
NYRA strongly supports extending academic freedom to all students. Please use this page as a resource on the various facets of academic freedom and how students are working to take back control of their education.