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Study the Issues - Lobbying for Smaller Schools: Educating All of Philadelphia

Study the Issues
  1. What are you lobbying for, against or to change? Explain the issue

-We are lobbying for  1. smaller neighborhood schools(this may involve breaking schools into academies).  2. To not segregate bad kids into alternative schools. In reality, how is an alternative school going to help bad children learn when they are all "distractions" to each other?

One hope of this is to break down the barriers between "bad children" and good students so that all students may have the opportunity to receive a good education. We want all students to have the attention they need from their teachers, so they all can progress on the same learning path, instead of one group moving forward without the other. - Cody’s Take on the Situation

Some people think of this idea as a roadblock in the more intelligent students, but in reality, each type of student can benefit each other by sharing their experiences. Tending to other’s needs can show self-growth and progression in students who attend these Alternative Schools. These students need to be nurtured in an environment that has a purpose, and not one that is detrimental to their learning experience. - Taylor’s Message

Every student deserves a great education, and needs to speak up for it.- Cody’s Message
“Never let others co-opt your language for purposes that are counter to your own believes.” - Chris Lehmann of The Science Leadership Academy.

  1. Elaborate on your motivation for investigating and influencing public policy?


From personal experience, I both have realized it helps me to help others. Explaining processes to other people helps clarify information to myself. Also, knowing I am learning in an environment where others are willing to help me out makes me feel better about my learning. I want students to be confident in their learning environment. We are focusing on the engagement of how students learn in their environments. Students should have access to all of the resources they could imagine including peers to answer questions and give advice. -Taylor’s Thoughts
  1. Who are the main supporters of your lobbying idea?

The main supporters of this lobbying idea are:
* Edgatopia: is an organization that reports what works in education and how.
Their main focus points:
“Teachers must lay the groundwork for successful social and emotional learning by establishing an environment of trust and respect in the classroom. Empathy is key. Before children can be expected to unite to achieve academic goals, they must be taught how to work together, and so it provides them with strategies and tools for cooperative learning.” - Taylor’s Great Reference Quote.

Cody’s Main Resources:
* Julie Evans, the CEO of Project Tomorrow, whose mission is to provide students with the necessary tools to make them the leaders of tomorrow.
* Educators like Deborah Meier, who has had 3 decades of working hand in hand with students.
* Chris Lehmann a practical idealist for the pursuit of a greater education.
People like these are ones who dream of the practical education. One that they believe should comes standard with all students, regardless of any background, or status.
  1. Who are the main opponents of your lobbying idea?

-The main opponents of this lobbying topic is the school district policy. There are many laws involving the expulsion of exceptional students (students who move at a faster/slower pace than others; ones with disabilities). The laws shown from the link below, state what a teacher can and cannot do. There are also the laws in which students have to follow shown in the “Student Code of Conduct, solely for students of the Philadelphia School District. There are even stricter rules when it comes to these Alternative schools, ones to where if they got in trouble there, there wouldn’t be a place where they could come to every day. These obstacles are preventing most students from progressing in their education.
Link
  1. Is there any pending legislation dealing with your lobbying idea? Explain. If there is not, what would you like to see proposed. Elaborate.

There is currently no pending legislation dealing with our lobbying idea. We would like to see a few things proposed: 1. laws removed about the expulsion of exceptional students 2. laws applied to stop segregating students who have been in trouble from the rest of the student body 3. laws applied to offer education to every child, every if they have a bad past or background. 4. laws applied to monitor the size of schools, specifically alternative and neighborhood schools.  

Our Consensus:
What does a "great school" mean?
    A great school offers a safe environment and an education for all types of learners.

How does a "great teacher" teach?
    A great teacher is understanding and is always willing to explain, assist, and explain again. A great teacher does not talk at the front of the classroom, they engage the students minds and help students make connections not only to the academic side of life but towards life itself, the real world. They teach about the process and not about the facts.

What do we value in that kind of education that can be measured?
    We value a students ability to apply the process of what they learn, not the facts and dates. We can measure this by there success in making differences in society, their ability to relate information.
  1. Any other information regarding the background for your topic.

-Regarding the incidents at South Philadelphia High School, with racial crimes/acts being directed to Chinese students, we sought the need to interview a transfer student who went through the torment and woes expressed onto them. This interview/documentary on the incidents that occurred during that time, will show what could possibly happen when large schools are not divided into academies, and when students of a certain class are subject to mistreatment. - Cody’s Take
    We want to get opinions from students whom have been exposed to these somewhat dangerous learning environments. We know what we think should and should not work, but we need to know what actually works and does not work. - Taylor’s Take