Remarks to Board of Education and Superintendent
January 28, 2021
by Barbara McDowell Dowdall
I must first apologize to my brother and sister community members who have been cut off from speaking by the board’s new bizarre limit on time and number of speakers. I have thus become a party to this mockery of first amendment rights by hastening to secure my own opportunity. Question from the banned: What is your acceptable level of infection and death of children and adults?
Restoration of School Libraries with Certified Teacher Librarians (CTL’s): Mid and Post Covid
We will gain:
Caring about all schools as Chair Wilkerson has said and
Ensuring equity as many board members have said and
Striking a blow against institutional racism as Dr. Hite has said.
Reversing our 7 year decline in student achievement* – a predictable consequence of de-staffing and decimating our school libraries
Creating comfort zone in every school that will welcome and engage our youngsters after this devastating year
Readying the wealth and variety of reading material that we can deliver in the same manner as Chrome books and that our youngsters can regularly take home going forward
Building students’ confidence in navigating internet research that they would have had had the librarians not been banished.
Creating a model for the preparation of future vice presidents as Westmount High School in Montreal, where …a full-time librarian is always available to assist students in finding and retrieving both online and printed materials to support students’ research, and the development of information literacy skills…as Westmount High did for Kamala Harris.
And best of all, impressing our three likely new board members, who, each and every one, (one Germantown and two Girls’ High) enjoyed this essential resource in their Philadelphia school days.
More on Library (at Westmount High)
Libraries are treasured places where students find resources and environments to augment their learning and growth.
Our library is full of life, buzzing with the curiosity of creative minds widening their experiences and learning about the world.
Our library offers a wide range of materials for both specific and general interest needs. A full-time librarian is always available to assist students in finding and retrieving both online and printed materials to support students’ research, and the development of information literacy skills.
*Missed goal for having students reading on grade level (Anchor Goal 2 –100% of 8-year-olds will read on or above grade level) … [decline] since 2012-2013. Was 52% and now 46%.