Two Syosset students have joined in the quest to bring student representation to New York State education reform. student Nikhil Goyal and have joined six others in formally requesting positions for three students on the New York Education Reform Commission.
"Students have invaluable and unparalleled insight into the inner workings of schools," students wrote in a letter to Cuomo. "Students must not only be heard, but also be put in a position where their ideas can be put into action."
To include the student perspective, Lafazan, Goyal, and other students from the region who signed the letter are asking that two current New York State public high school students and one public high school graduate now pursuing higher education be added to the committee.
"Students are often left out of the conversation," said Lafazan, who became the to the Syosset Board of Education in May. "...having young people on the Commission will serve invaluable because we can contribute insight into the needs of today’s students.”
Authors of the letter suggested a swift application process for the selection of the students. However, the students said they would also support Governor's choice to selec his own members, as long as student representatives were included.
Cuomo established the New York Education Reform Commission in April with the goal of "bringing together nationally-recognized education, community, and business leaders to recommend reforms to the state's education system in order to improve performance in the classroom so that all of New York's students are fully prepared for their futures," according to the governor's website. Current members of the commission include Richard Parsons, a retired Citigroup chairman, Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Geoffrey Canada, founder and CEO of Harlem Children's Zone.
The students encouraging the change are , hosting a Twitter chat session Mondays at 8:30 p.m. using the hashtag #StuVoice.