Target: New York City Department of Education
Goal: Support reinvestment in high school newspapers
The importance of developing strong writing and analytical skills among American high school students cannot be overstated. Pervasive media coverage of young Americans’ deteriorating standardized testing performance underscores the need for improved educational opportunities in these subjects, among others. Moreover, developing an inquisitive generation of new writers, readers, and potential journalists serves the broadest public interests in a nation with a broadly criticized media landscape.
Unfortunately, widespread disinvestment in America’s public schools undermines these goals. Recently, The New York Times reported the mounting struggles of New York City’s school newspapers. As Times writer Winnie Hu notes, “[fewer] than one in eight of the city’s public high schools reported having a newspaper or print journalism class,” as of this year. As for schools with surviving papers, many “have been reduced to publishing a few times a year because of shrinking staffs, budget cuts and a new focus on core academic subjects.”
Vibrant school papers serve countless educational and normative ends. They provide opportunities for improving students’ writing, reading, and editing skills. They allow young students to excel in leadership positions and specialize in critical subjects and policy areas while exposing them to career possibilities. Support New York City’s high school papers and request that the Department of Education reinvest in these essential programs.
Dear New York City Department of Education,
Strong writing, reading, analytical, and argumentative skills are essential prerequisites for not just college admissions but also for developing good citizenship and global awareness. For high school students all over America, student-run newspapers are essential tools for promoting these skills while providing a creative outlet for expression.
Unfortunately, like many school districts, New York City’s public schools are losing these programs, with fewer than one in eight public high schools maintaining a student paper or print journalism class as of this year. New York City, as the epicenter of global media, must promote these essential programs and reinvest in public schools’ papers.
[Your Name Here]
Image Credit: hobvias sudoneighm via Flickr