Students came to City Council yesterday to make their case that the District needs to keep the Kensington small schools intact and, beginning with Kensington Urban Education, transform them into sustainable community schools.
Unfortunately by the time they got to speak the room was nearly empty. It is ironic that while dozens of adults including Council members were full of opinions about what students need, listening to the passionate and articulate young people from YUC, was not a high priority.
An exception was Maria Quinones Sanchez who spoke eloquently after the students and called on Council to take seriously the arguments for maintaining the small school vision and recognized the important work YUC does to insure that student voice is heard.
Also present was a delegation from Philadelphia Student Union in solidarity with the YUC students. PCAPS coordinator and YUC Board President Ron Whitehorne also gave testimony. Whitehorne was part of a panel that included Helen Gym and Philadelphia School Partnerhsip Director Mark Gleason. Both Gym and Whitehorne called for more funding, including demands that corporations and mega non profits pay their fair share. Gleason was roundly booed and interupted when he called for a new round of school closings.
The SRC will vote next month on the administration’s plan to merge Kensington Urban with Kensington Business.