The Milwaukee Public Schools have created a social network designed to empower Milwaukee youth and get them involved in the discussion about their schools, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The web site–milwaukee.studentsspeakout.org–was created by School Board member Danny Goldberg, who likens it to a "24/7 school board meeting." Students Speak Out is the most local new social-media site aiming to gain users this year, but it’s one of many new niche web sites around the country trying to compete with, or give teens an alternative to, the behemoths of the industry: MySpace, Facebook, Hi5, and Friendster. The site went live this spring, and Goldberg expects the 185 current users to grow this year as students spread the word about the site. Using video interviews, forums, and photographs to spark discussion, Goldberg hopes the students will speak loud enough online to bring about policy change in real life. "This is a way of organizing students and giving them the tools to be listened to," said Goldberg, who wrote a grant to fund the start-up costs of the site and negotiated with the district administration to make sure students could access it from all MPS schools…

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