Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday Night Education Symposium at the Franklin Institute.....In Philadelphia, PA

A Friday Night at the Franklin Institute Examines The Schools Issue...
By Brother Tracy Gibson
On September 28, 2012, Friday night, I attended a symposium on Public Education held at the Franklin Institute at 222 North 20th Street in Philadelphia. A very bright group of interested Leaders was included among those on the panel.  Including: Christine Beck, the author of ``Listen to Our Voices,'' ; Stacy Holland, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network...and State Senator Vincent Hughes, who has worked on education issues for decades as a State Senator and as a State Legislator.  Other panelist included Rahim Islam of the Universal Companies {Owned mostly by Black Millionaire Record Producer Kenny Gamble}; and Mark Gleason, who through The Philadelphia Schools Partnership, a non-profit designed to assist schools that are performing ``better'' by systematically injecting $100 Million Dollars; and Sandra Dungee Glenn, former head of the School Reform Commission {She served as host}; William Hite, Jr. was asked many questions because he is the new Superintendent of Schools for the School District of Philadelphia. 

Unfortunately the event was NOT well attended at all.  There should have been a rousing chorus of parents and youth and students from the Philadelphia School system, yet there was only a sprinkling. There were no Students on the panel {Which one parent thought was ridiculous, as did I}; and there were no Parents on the Panel either {Which at least one parent mentioned and thought was equally ridiculous.} Another thing I thought was really bad is that while Shara Lomax Reese, who is with the radio station that helped sponsor the event, thanked the corporate sponsors, there was very, very little thanks to the people who took time out of their busy day to attend and help represent the struggling student body of Philadelphia. 

One parent said there needs to be an effort to stop emphasising the testing of students and their proficiency standards in various subjects and put more emphasis on helping students become whole, decent, well rounded people, ready to make our world a better, more sustainable place to live. To Paraphrase Writer-Activist Alice Walker who was recently on Free Speech TV's ``Democracy Now'' Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of her book ``The Color Purple,'' We need to be about making the world a more sustainable place for all of us to co-exist--not fight wars and learn how to kill.  Few people seemed to really understand the depth of what this particular parent was putting across.     
WURD Radio and Universal Companies were among the corporate sponsors.

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