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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Education Reform: Dignowity Style

We live across the street from Bowden Elementary School. The school used to be named Robert E Lee but somewhere along the way the name of the school changed to honor Artemisia Bowden, who was an African-American educator and long time administrator for St. Phillip's College. I find the irony of the names for the school delicious but that's another story for another time.

The real story for today is that the neighborhood association has made a commitment to partner with Bowden with the goal of developing a tutoring and mentoring program for the next school year. The neighborhood association has formed an Educational Leadership Committee made up of neighborhood residents with a passion for education and gifts to give to Bowden in way of time and skills. Bowden's principal, vice principal, and teachers are all on board in seeing this come to fruition. The parents of Bowden will also be engaged because they will be key in ensuring success in the classroom for their kids.

This effort is timely given the shortsightedness of our state legislature in cutting funding for our schools. We need to find away to get back to the notion of a community school in which a neighborhood has a vested interest in the educational success of our children. Our effort may be small but we think its a great start to making a dent in improving educational outcomes.
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