Testimony of Dana Carter to the BOE, January 17, 2020

“When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his ‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.” Carter G Woodson — The Miseducation of the Negro

Good Evening. My name is Dana Carter and I am a member of the Melanated Educators Collective and the Racial Justice Organizing Committee. Over the summer we organized an Educators’ March and presented our 10 Demands for Radical Education Transformation. Our 6th and 7th Demand is to Implement Anti Racist Training for all Educators and Culturally Responsive Curriculum. This demand includes Ethnic, Indigenous, and Black studies courses at every level with commitment and intentionality. With that demand in mind I am asking the School District of Philadelphia to not only officially recognize Indigenous People’s Day, but to begin to form genuine relationships with the indigenous organizations in and around our city. At this point, any lesson or book taught by any teacher that presents Columbus as a hero is not only an insult, it represents the Height of Miseducation in the School District of Philadelphia. There is no excuse. The miseducation of Black children leads to death. I hear very little about the explosion of Gun violence in Philadelphia from School District Leaders. Are we not realizing that most of these kids out here shooting and killing were once students in the School District of Philadelphia who more than likely were the victims of a white supremacist curriculum. You cannot expect children to feel welcome when you are teaching them that known oppressors are heroes. The Anti-Racist training is critical because it’s important for the people who are teaching the children to have a firm understanding of the content from an anti racist lens.

How are we discussing school closures and how schools are going to suffer financially without listing the cost associated with fumbling that Ben Franklin’/SLA Job? $51 million.

What kind of board president not only leads a stall tactic making people wait over three hours just to testify on Action Items? You CUT THEM OFF when they don’t follow school board policies that even the school board does not follow.

Advocacy in Philadelphia Education is reaching new heights… and currently Joyce Wilkerson and the School Board of Philadelphia is on the ground floor.