Students Look for a Seat at the Table When Talk Turns to Education

Aug 17, 2017

A group of students is gathering in Des Moines to talk about the future of education. They want to be part of the conversation about educational priorities.          

Ian Coon, co-founder of the Iowa Student Learning Institute
Credit Student Voice

A nonprofit called the Iowa Student Learning Institute is behind the meeting among students, community leaders and legislators. Ian Coon co-founded the institute when he was in high school. Now a sophomore at Wartburg College, Coon says students need to be included when talk turns to education.

“We’re always trying to look for opportunities to involve students by allowing them a seat at the table rather than knocking down a door to get into the meeting room,” he says.

Coon says it’s a good time to think about educational priorities.

“I think the timing is perfect for back to school as people are thinking about education, at least on the ground, and there is some time to rally together before our legislative season,” he says.

Coon suggests one way to allow students the chance to express their views on educational issues that matter to them is to require student representation on school boards.

Coon says feedback from the meeting will help draft a document called “We the Students,” which will be delivered to the Legislature next session. 

The Iowa Student Learning Institute is working with the national group Student Voice to ensure students' thoughts on education are heard.