It’s time to reconnect communities and parents with the education system. University of Phoenix Chief Financial Officer Byron Jones announced a plan of action to rediscover that lost synergy. It involves creating a partnership between the University of Phoenix, the National Action Network and the National Network of State Teachers of the Year.
Jones’ announcement came at the NAN convention in April. The University of Phoenix organized a panel of educators at the convention who discussed not just the challenges but also the solutions to repairing the fractured connection between communities, parents and schools.
“This is, for us, one of the most fundamental issues. It should be at the top of our agenda. … This is about actual, practical solutions that you can walk out of here with and begin to employ, when it comes to education in this country,” stated the session’s moderator and host of NewsOne Now Roland Martin.
We asked convention participants to share what actions they will take to contribute to the solutions. Here’s a sample of the responses:
Lynette and Dana Williams expressed grave concern for the obscenely high incarceration rate among African-American young men—as well as the astronomical level of those reentering the criminal justice system after release. The couple, also concerned about the school-to-prison pipeline, underscored that police officers are now a main feature at K-12 public schools. They are promoting preventive court systems, as an alternative to the criminal justice system, for students who commit minor infractions in school.
Darrell Price calls for actively planning to create a better society—what he describes as “designing the future.” He said, “No longer can we sit back and allow things to continue and expect positive results. Instead, we must settle on the best ideas and actively guide our students.” Price said he’s involved in research that explores effective ways to educate and guide our youth.
Marc Daniels plans to teach a simple but often elusive concept to children: every human being is valuable. He would teach them to “weed out hate” through gardening. “In the same way weeds choke flowers in a garden bed, racism and hatred cause turmoil in society,” Daniels said. He promotes integration in schools so that children of different races, religions and ethnicities can learn to value and respect each other.
Tylik McMillan, a freshman at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, N.C., is committed to inspiring others. “By that I mean encouraging others,” he explained. “You can’t just think about helping yourself when you see another Aggies (a nickname for students at his college) struggling. During finals students get discouraged, many are the first in their family to attend college, and think about dropping out. College is not a piece of cake. I tell them you can do anything.”
Everyone can do something. Here’s your chance to share what action you will take to help solve the education crisis in our community. Share your photos at #SavingTomorrowToday, and use our meme generate to upload your thoughts and picture: