Is “school” the answer or does it create, or at least perpetuate social problems? In the “Future of Education Research – Volume 1” Trohler and Barbu argue that as the United States of America ‘Reconstructed’ itself following the Civil War, the introduction of the “common school” or the Public School was the one institution that was both revolutionary in concept and disruptively transformative in design and implementation. The ravages of the Civil War, War of 1812, and the Stock Market Crash of 1819 had devastated the nation morally, economically, spiritually and in every other conceivable fashion.
A new “common school system” was constructed to redefine and reposition the “old social order” of gender – ethnic supremacy and domination, and perpetual subordination of any other group or nation that the “old social order” defined as less than equal – especially the African American. This “school system” has successfully perpetuated the “old social order” and today we come to this SUMMIT 2017 – “The EDUCATION OF BLACK AND POOR CHILDREN IN FLORIDA – IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH!” The ‘’common school” was designed to create a “new citizen for the republic, a new soul for the church, and a new conscience for society.”
By constitutional mandate, the new “..citizen, …soul, …and conscience…” did not include the African American in the equation, since he had been declared only 3/5 human. This weekend we are challenged to reinvent ourselves and redefine our position at the table for equity and excellence in education, at a time when both education and literacy themselves are being “redefined” . We are called upon to ‘re-conjugate’ the verb “ TO BE” and to ask tough questions not only about the ‘system’, but also about who we are as a people and as a community. “I AM” requires a knowledge of self that will serve as our ‘TRUE NORTH’ that will provide the foundation upon which to constructively engage the existing ‘common school system’ and help transform it into what it needs to become to successfully meet the needs of today’s Black and poor children in Florida.
We have assembled a cadre of the world’s finest educational experts and organizational leaders and spokespersons to address the matrix of concepts and concerns that impact the process of education. We will address the achievement gap, critical race theory and education practice, changing status of urban schools, impact of ESSA ( Every Student Succeeds Act ), education inequality, school – prison pipeline, disparities in discipline, systems thinking perspectives on cumulative impact of Environmental Stressors, and activism and advocacy. We will discuss the role of the organized church in education as well as the role of the “community” in the education equation.
Participants will have an opportunity to engage with experts in a variety of settings including symposia; moderated Q & A sessions; social gatherings; and one – on – one interchange.
The proceedings will be both videotaped and transcribed for future publication as well as to serve as the foundation for our Work Group for Equity and Excellence in Education of Black and Poor Children in Florida. This work will be augmented by the Statewide Community – Public School Accountability Coalition that has been formed in conjunction with the FAMU National Alumni Association.
The Miles Johnson Task Force for Equity and Excellence in Education welcomes anyone who has a genuine interest in transforming our current “common school system” into an agent for positive social change in the lives of ALL STUDENTS – not just the socioeconomically and ethnically privileged.