With support from the White House, the US Department of Education has launched an impressive effort to engage young people in policymaking.
First, they announced a National Youth Summit to galvanize youth to shape strategies to provide pathways for all youth – those who are in middle and high school as well as those who are out of work, out of school and out of the mainstream – to be on track to achieve high school and postsecondary credentials. The buzz was amazing – the registration filled up in just 48 hours. Young people are motivated and ready to roll up their sleeves and come help make a difference.
Then, to engage young people across the country who can’t make it to the Summit, the Department of Education partnered with SparkAction.org and more than 35 leading organizations to launch “Ask the Secretary,” an open-source democracy experiment where young people get to submit and vote upon questions online – and the Secretary of Education will answer some of the most popular questions at the National Youth Summit! Check it out at www.AskTheSecretary.org
And it doesn’t stop there – at the Summit itself, the Department of Education is using innovative keypad voting technology to hear from participants in real time, as well livestreaming the event and using Twitter and Facebook to allow young people across the country to participate as well.
Kudos to the Department of Education for its innovative efforts to ensure young people have a voice in shaping the policies which affect them most!