Here's what we believe need to be addressed for students to have a quality & efficient urban education.
The system of a state imposed School Reform Commission hasn't, doesn't, and will never work for this district. From the funding cuts to the brutal policing to the characterization this district has seen in the time that the SRC has been here it's clear that the voices of students, teachers, parents, and community members haven't been given the place they deserve. As students and youth coming together we've clearly identified the SRC as a major roadblock in the way of achieving the quality and efficient education for our Students! UrbEd calls for local control of the Philadelphia School District!
UrbEd’s main priorities when it comes to discipline is not only to ensure the safety of students in Philadelphia’s schools, but to ensure that students aren’t prosecuted unfairly after an offense occurs in their learning environment. The suspension rate for the School District of Philadelphia is well above the average when it comes to the rest of the nation. Not only that, but about 1,600 students are arrested every year from Philly schools up until 2014. 80% of that 1,580 were black. Compare that to the 51% of African-Americans who actually make up the school district. Often, these young minorities are being arrested for minor offenses and mistakes.
The lack of teacher diversity in Philadelphia is negatively affecting our students, primarily young males of color. Due to the number of minority students in our education system growing, it is essential that we work to ensure that our student can relate to and be included by our entire teaching force. Sharing cultural experiences with your educator helps close the achievement gap and provide opportunities for meaningful mentorships and wholly improves teacher/student relations across the board. It is our responsibility to fight for that diversity and make the diverse voices of all kinds educators reach our diverse student body.
The severe underfunding of the Philadelphia School have physical impacts on the Philadelphia students. Because of lack of resources classrooms are overcrowded, school facilities unsanitary and run down, and students lack clean drinking water. In Philadelphia schools there are issues with Mold and Lead, both can have long term negative impacts on students health. UrbEd seeks to give every student access to a safe, sanitary, and functional building that will allow them to be educated.