The Zionsville Student Rights Union, NYRA’s affiliate in central
Indiana, continues to be an effective voice for youth. The ZSRU’s most
recent victory came just this month when they successfully worked with
their high school administration to change the structure of final
exams starting in 2009, after a long cooperative process involving
months of negotiation.

Successes such as these demonstrate that it is possible to form
cooperative alliances with schools and other institutions in order to
enhance youth voice and youth participation. Because of these
successes the ZSRU has been asked by John Loflin, senior fellow of
education and youth issues at the Black & Latino Policy Institute, to
take the lead on a statewide initiative to gain support for
“democratic education,” where young people are actively involved in
shaping their own educational experience. ZSRU leadership plans to
meet with Loflin, an expert on democratic education and a member of
the Democratic Education Consortium, and leaders from the Student Alliance for Education, an organization founded by urban Indianapolis
students, this week to form a strategy to move the effort forward.