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Originally posted by curme
It would sound a little more genuine if they cared about how Johnny couldn't read before this issue came up.
(Not aimed at anyone specific)
Thu, Jul. 22, 2004
Philadelphia students improve test scores
By Martha Woodall
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In a room overflowing with cheering parents, students, teachers and administrators, Philadelphia School District officials this afternoon announced that student scores on the state's all-important standardized exam showed remarkable improvement.
"It is not just a good afternoon, it is a great afternoon," said James E. Nevels, chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.
"We are particularly proud that our results outperformed state-wide percentage gains in five out of six categories."
"This is the second year of healthy growth," Paul Vallas, schools chief executive officer, said. "But we never imagined that the bounce would be as healthy as it has been."
Vallas noted that the district has a long way to go, but added that the new curriculum tied to state-academic standards, after-school programs for struggling students and curriculum training for teachers had paid off.
The push for African-American studies in the city dates back to at least November 1967, when a few hundred students demonstrating outside a school board meeting clashed with police. Under the direction of then-Police Commissioner Frank L. Rizzo, officers clubbed some of the singing students after a few climbed atop cars.
The district's 210,000 students are about 67 percent black, 14 percent Latino, 14 percent white and 5 percent Asian. Three years after a state takeover that brought reform-minded schools chief Paul Vallas from Chicago, test scores are up and new buildings are planned to replace crumbling schools, although violence continues to erupt.
School leaders hope the course will not only keep black students interested in their academic work, but also give other students a more accurate view of history.
"It has an impact on our African-American children, but it also affects children from other cultures. Their perception is often skewed," said Sandra Dungee Glenn, a member of the five-person School Reform Commission that unanimously approved of the requirement this spring.
With a better understanding of each other and history, students will have the "opportunity for better understanding in schools and in the community."
Originally posted by lmgnyc
Along with the innovative curricula that is being adopted in Philly, the move to make African American studies mandatory is being viewed as another way to keep the nearly 70% of African American kids in schools engaged.
By making this course mandatory, the school district is demonstrating it's commitment to issues relevant to the students and the community.
But I am not sure why so many people have a problem with this.
Would people have such an issue with this if European history was a mandatory course (which it is--it's called HISTORY)?
Originally posted by Carseller4
Philadelphia's black population is around 43% yet blacks make up 73% of the public school population.
There are options like private schools and homeschooling. This decision will make these options more popular.
Originally posted by longbow
Well let's face it, the African history - except stone age and Egypt, has zero influence on todays society. That's the reason why it's almost completely useless to teach it, especially mandatory for 1 year.
[edit on 16-6-2005 by longbow]
[edit on 16-6-2005 by longbow]