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George Ross Mackenzie Elementary School honored by Project Tomorrow® for Tapping into Students’ Ideas to Inform Local Decision-Making

Project Tomorrow® recognizes top 200 schools for
empowering students’ voices in education


Glen Spey, NY. (June 9, 2009) -- Project Tomorrow®, (, the national education nonprofit group, announced the selection of George Ross Mackenzie as a Speak Up 200 school.  Speak Up 200 schools are a collection of top K-12 schools in the country that encourage and involve authentic student, parent, and teacher ideas and views in the education planning and decision-making.   The Speak Up data is especially valuable this year as it gives our education leaders important input as to how to spend the historic education stimulus funds provided by the federal government.


George Ross Mackenzie received this national distinction from the 18,000 schools nationwide that have participated in the annual Speak Up surveys since 2003.  Over 330,000 K-12 students, teachers, administrators and parents, representing 4,379 schools in all 50 states participated in fall 2008.  The schools selected for the 2009 Speak Up 200 recognition this year represent a broad range of educational institutions in rural, suburban and urban communities from all across the United States including schools on our military bases and worldwide.


Over 669 students, educators and parents from the Eldred Central School District participated in Speak Up 2008, 348 of which were from students of Mackenzie Elementary alone.  Across the nation, Speak Up 200 schools are using the data from the online Speak Up surveys to develop strategic plans, make budgeting decisions, enhance their curriculum, and determine professional development needs.  At the Eldred Central School District we are using the Speak Up data to Assist us in determining a direction that will encourage every child to be fully engaged in meaningful learning. 




In making the announcement, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow®, noted,” As our education leaders make plans for how to spend the historic education stimulus funds, we are very encouraged to know that some of the most innovative districts in our country are using the ideas of students as well as parents and teachers as input into their decision-making. By empowering student voices, the Speak Up 200 schools provide the education community with powerful examples of the value of including stakeholders in these important discussions around education transformation and school improvement.”


As a designated Speak Up 200 school, George Ross Mackenzie will be prominently featured on the Project Tomorrow® website

( and receive special recognition from Project Tomorrow® including a unique Speak Up 200 logo to use on our school and district websites.  Additionally, Project Tomorrow® will promote our distinction to our Congressional representative and state Governor to demonstrate the power of educational innovation at the local level. Project Tomorrow® is tapping into the expertise of this year’s Speak Up 200 schools to develop new questions for Speak Up 2009 which will open up for student, teacher and parent input in October.  Additionally, Project Tomorrow® will share the impact stories from Speak Up 200 schools with its partners and national policy organizations to inform national and regional education reform efforts. 

About Project Tomorrow®

Project Tomorrow® (formerly known as NetDay) is a national education nonprofit organization committed to ensuring that all students are well prepared to become tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens. The mission of Project Tomorrow® is to support and promote the effective and appropriate use of science, math and technology resources in K–12 education so that every student has the opportunity to fully participate in today’s global economy and community. For additional information, visit:  


About the Speak Up National Research Project  

Speak Up, a national research initiative of Project Tomorrow®, has surveyed over 1.5 million K-12 students, parents, teachers and school leaders since 2003.   The Speak Up data represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder input on education, technology, 21st century skills, and math and science instruction. Education, business and policy leaders regularly use the data to inform federal, state and local education programs. Speak Up 2008 was made possible through the generous support of CDW-G, SMART Technologies, PASCO scientific, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 1105 Media Education Group and Wimba. Outreach support was provided through over 100 national education groups including the State Education Technology Directors’ Association (SETDA), Consortium for School Network (CoSN) and the National School Boards’ Association (NSBA).  

Last Modified on May 13, 2011