By: Bailey Myers
September 11th, 2013
Tallahassee FL - Alarming statistics from the Department of Education have community leaders looking for answers. A Town Hall meeting this evening discussed ways to boost student performance in communities of color.
Public Officials, educators and members of the community all had the opportunity to discuss some of the ways they believe the education system might be failing persons of color, and some believe education starts at home.
One Town Hall Attendee explained, "It does take a village to raise a child, so I am here as a village member."
A feeling shared among many attending Wednesday's Town hall meeting.
During the meeting one speaker said, "We need people in the community to step up to the plate."
According to the Department of Education, 5% of Florida's lowest performing schools are located in low income minority communities. With statistics like that, Organizations such as Black Floridians Care, Step Up For Students and Florida's Urban League Consortium teamed together to inform the public on the state of education and minority groups.
Tallahassee Urban League Inc. President, Reverend Ernest Ferrell said, "And so by bringing the community out and sharing some of the information that is available maybe we could come up with something thats going to be able to help us and enhance the education level of our young kids."
The goal tonight was to inspire people to think about how this community and communities throughout Florida could make a difference together. Another speaker told the audience, "once upon a time we cared as a community"
Town Hall Meeting Attendee, Willie-Mae Musgray said, "There are things out there that we could take advantage of and if we just take the blinders off and stop maybe expecting to not be able to compete to be successful or as successful as the next person it could make a big difference."
Tallahassee's Urban League told Eyewitness News they plan on hosting more town hall meetings discussing education.
Urban League of Tallahassee
The Urban League of Tallahassee in conjunction with the Greater Miami Urban League and urban leagues of Broward, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Orlando will be hosting A “We CARE” education town hall meeting at the Urban League of Tallahassee office complex in Tallahassee Wednesday, September 11, beginning at 6:00pm.
The We CARE campaign was created by a partnership with Black Floridians CARE, Democrats for Education Reform, Step Up for Students, Students First Florida and Florida’s Consortium of Urban League affiliates (FCULA) to discuss minority student academic achievement efforts and the future of Florida’s education system on them. The campaign is an effort to raise awareness and discuss solutions to achieving academic success in the urban core.
In Florida, Black students are disproportionately under-performing in Florida’s urban core. According to the Florida Department of Education, five percent of Florida’s lowest performing schools are located in low-income minority communities.
This evening’s town hall meeting which will be moderated by the Urban League of Tallahassee President Reverend Earnest Ferrell will allow Tallahassee residents to discuss the importance of Common Core, community engagement, parental involvement, expanding parental school choice options, developing a black talent pipeline and improving the plight of Black student achievement through data driven analysis. The goal of the meetings is to engage community leaders, parents and policy makers about the crisis in the urban core and the opportunities for black leadership within the movement.
Panel Representatives and topics of discussion are as follows:
- Department of Education- Common Core Standards
- Dr. Bruce Jones, University of South Florida- Data and statistics for Black student achievement
- Glen Gilzean, Step Up For Students- Community Engagement
- Isha Haley, Black Floridians CARE- Talent Pipeline/Social Capital
- Troy Bell, StudentsFirst Florida– Parental Involvement