Philadelphia School Crisis Solicits Reactions From Activists

Send this Page to X1:
ACTv PHL™
Education
Center City East
August 12, 2013
By Flood the Drummer
An activist hold up a hand drawn sign during Decarcerate PA's Press Conference announcing they will march 100 miles to fight for Philadelphia Public Schools. (Photo Credit: C. Norris - ©2013)

www.techbookonline.com

 

 

Philadelphia School Crisis Solicits Reactions From Activists


“With Dr. Hite adding to the Philadelphia School crisis with threats of not to opening buildings if he doesn’t receive $50 million THIS FRIDAY, clergy leaders, students, community members and activists speak out.”

Self-described “Actionist” and BMe Leadership Award Winner Rashuan Williams, 19, talks with Obioama Martin, CEO/Founder/CEO of OMART Training and Development, Inc., during a City Council hearing where council considered several proposal: including allow the School District of Philadelphia to collect a $2-per-pack cigarette tax (Bill 130446). Martin, through her OMART Community Cyber Resource Center and its partner, Achievement House Cyber Charter School (AHCCS), is offering Philadelphia parents a new public education choice for their children in grades seven (7) to twelve (12). (Photo Credit: C. Norris - ©2013)

Self-described “Actionist” and BMe Leadership Award Winner Rashuan Williams, 19, talks with Obioama Martin, CEO/Founder of OMART Training and Development, Inc., during a City Council hearing where council considered several proposals that would fix the Philadelphia School Crisis: including allow the School District of Philadelphia to collect a $2-per-pack cigarette tax (Bill 130446). Martin, through her OMART Community Cyber Resource Center and its partner, Achievement House Cyber Charter School (AHCCS), is offering Philadelphia parents a new public education choice for their children in grades seven (7) to twelve (12). (Photo Credit: C. Norris – ©2013)

 

 

By Christopher “Flood the Drummer”® Norris

8.12.13: Philadelphia– (Education/Politics): Today at 2:00pm more than forty (40) congregations in the community organizing group POWER, along with Parents United For Public Education, the Philadelphia Student Union, and other clergy leaders and activists in the city of Philadelphia, will convene this afternoon at School District Headquarters (440 N Broad St) to demand answers to Superintendent Dr. William Hite’s recent announcement that Philadelphia Public Schools will not open on time due to funding shortfalls. In addition, POWER will host a citywide town hall meeting called “Tell It To The Children” tonight at 6pm at Mother Bethel A.M.E Church, located at 419 S. 6th Street

 

READ: The Philadelphia Negroes: A Triple Threat to Philly Schools

 

 

Since Thursday’s macho posturing by Dr. Hite, Mayor Nutter and Council President Clarke, countless of activists and residents alike have been speaking out against the Philadelphia School crisis, all agreeing that recent actions by officials is blatant child endangerment and borderline criminal activity.

Many I talked to were disappointed, embarrassed, shocked, but not surprised.

 “My heart stopped,” explains Malissa Gamble, Founder of The Time Is Now To Make A Change. Gamble was one of many activists from the city who marched one-hundred (100) miles from Philly to Harrisburg, advocating for fair funding for the nation’s eighth largest school district.

She doesn’t rate the Nutter Administration very high on the scoreboard, giving them a four (4) out of ten (10).

“Every Mayor wants to leave a legacy, I don’t know what Nutter’s will be; but it surely won’t be the ritzy ice skating rink being built in front of City Hall; we could’ve done without it. I’m praying for a day when our leaders put education first,” says Gamble, who home schools her daughter.

Gamble is the organizer of the Returning Citizens Voter’s Movement and says that she will continue to make her population aware of their rights and make sure they vote the current leaders out in 2015.

 

An activist hold up a hand drawn sign during Decarcerate PA's Press Conference announcing they will march 100 miles to fight for Philadelphia Public Schools. (Photo Credit: C. Norris - ©2013)

An activist hold up a hand drawn sign during Decarcerate PA’s Press Conference announcing they will march 100 miles to fight for Philadelphia Public Schools. (Photo Credit: C. Norris – ©2013)

 

Another Philadelphian embarrassed by the city’s leadership – or lack thereof – will also be occupying the ballot in 2015, pointing to fact that despite Millennials being Philly’s largest demographic, they’re not represented in city council in a meaningful way.

Tommy Joshua is the Chairman of the Hip Hop Party for the People, a progressive Millennial-led movement that uses the culture of hip-hop to engage young people in politics.

 

Pictured here, youth demonstrate at LOVE Park for the first annual Philly Stand Up! This Saturday the Hip Hop Party for the People will meet at Love Park and march up Broad Street to Erie Avenue, where they will be embraced by the community. Organizers say it’s “not a protest it’s a parade!” (Photo Credit: C. Norris - ©2013)

Pictured here, youth demonstrate at LOVE Park during the first annual Philly Stand Up! This Saturday the Hip Hop Party for the People will meet at Love Park and march up Broad Street to Erie Avenue, where they will be embraced by the community. Organizers say it’s “not a protest it’s a parade!” (Photo Credit: C. Norris – ©2013)

 

Joshua says “all of us are to blame” and adds “this model of democracy isn’t working; the ingredients – like citizen participation, citizen information and citizen engagement – are missing from everyday life here in Philadelphia.”

 

 “These are not our school, we don’t control them! They’re our children, but not our schools. This is made obvious by the fact that we don’t have an elected school board. We have a superintendent, but that’s just half the picture, we need a school board not an ineffective School Reform Commission!”

 

To put it frank, the “millennial mobilizer” is disappointed in the cowardly leadership of city government. He says the Hip Hop Party for the People is all about using their vote to “throw the bums out!”

 READ: Clergy Calls for Philadelphia School Boycott, say “$50 Million not Enough!”

“I love this city! The idea of America was framed here and the revolutionaries worked and lived here. America was constantly changed by the people’s movement, from ideas whose time had come. We at the Hip Hop Party for the People believe in a revolution – which means fundamental change. The big issue here in the city is our leaders are out of touch. There are no Millennials represented in City Council and that has to change. We can’t continue to uphold the smoke and mirrors. The incompetence shown by our city officials and school leaders speak volumes to the need for tremendous change,” says Joshua.

 

I caught up with a former candidate for city council who ran in 2011. The Millennial mentor who plans to run again in 2015 says that he was sad when he heard Thursday’s announcement.

 

“It shows where our priorities are. Nothing is more than important than our children. Schools shouldn’t be an item on a budget. I’m beyond disappointed; I’m embarrassed,” says Isaiah Thomas, who was one (1) of fifteen (15) black men chosen to be apart of the inaugural (2013) class of Philly Roots Fellows.

 

The twenty-something said when he campaigned in 2011 most people knew this would be an issue in 2013.  He says he will not only bring a national perspective – given his work with the Children’s National Defense Fund – but will add a long-term view to a city that is very short-sighted.

 

On May 10th 2013, Mayor Michael A. Nutter was joined by Superintendent Dr. Hite and the Philadelphia State Delegation, as he announces "I'm committed to working together to solve the problems of the Philadelphia School District. (Photo Credit: C. Norris - ©2013)

On May 10th 2013, Mayor Michael A. Nutter was joined by Superintendent Dr. Hite and the Philadelphia State Delegation, as he announces “I’m committed to working together to solve the problems of the Philadelphia School District. (Photo Credit: C. Norris – ©2013)

 

“We have to begin to think more long-term and move past this manufactured crisis. I understand we’re worried about this year and we should be, but what’s going to happen to the future? What’s going to happen next year? We absolutely need more responsible management!”

 

A young father, Thomas tells me his dad is a public school teacher and his six (6) older brothers have all gone and graduated from Philadelphia Public Schools.

Thomas is genuinely worried about the Philadelphia school crisis future of education in this city and almost feels he has no choice but step up and speak out.

 “There’s a disconnection with our leaders, their priorities, and what the people need. The city needs to engage stakeholders on the city and state level to ensure we come up with a true sustainable plan; for the people by the people!”

Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™

Support Quality Journalism.  DONATE. Your participation at any level is greatly appreciated. 

Techbook Online Corporation is supported in part by a generous grant from knight-logo-3000

 

through their ground breaking  logo  initiativeLearn about TBO Inc’s Community Impact Grant HERE

 

 

About Techbook Online Corporation®:

Techbook_leaf_glossy copyechbook Online Corporation (TBO Inc) is an integrated internet, multi-media publishing and sustainable marketing and news organization. Headquartered in Philadelphia, TBO Inc is one of the largest and most active publishers on Comcast’s www.PhillyinFocus.com. For more information www.techbookonline.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: TBO Inc®

©2013 All Rights Reserved.

Twitter: @therealTBOInc

Facebook: /therealTBOInc

#####

440 North Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19130 Center City East
Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,