Putting Humanity Back at the Center: The Nova Project

In this post by writer Bill Bystricky on the NCTE blog Literacy & NCTE, Bill looks at The Nova Project, an alternative public high school in Seattle where I teach. Bill examines what it means when a school takes democracy seriously and involves students in all aspects of school decision making, including hiring, budget, and curriculum development.

The question I ask is this: Why aren’t more public school officials supporting the creation of schools like The Nova Project, particularly when we’ve known for such a long time that research supports inquiry-based education, that put students at the center of their learning?

Read more here: Democracy in a Public High School




  1. I am inspired by the idea of allowing students a full voice in school management. It would be a far cry from the long years we’ve been through where both NCLB and R2T have very methodically excluded and silenced not only student voices, but every other unhappy voice connected to the school (teachers, parents, staff. etc.) ciedieaech.wordpress.com

    1. I agree that it’s time every community to have a say in what schools do and how they do it. I think teachers, parents, students, community leaders, and community-based organizations coming together to find common ground is one of our best hopes for reforming our schools in democratic ways that respect the goals and aspirations of our many different communities.

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