Transcript of the testimony of Barbara Dowdall before the SRC June 21, 2018

Barbara Dowdall SRC 6-21-18
Click the picture and go to timestamp 49:20 to view the testimony of Barbara Dowdall.

Remarks to the School Reform Commission and

Superintendent Dr. William Hite   May 21, 2018

Schools of Dreams (Allusion: Field of Dreams, 1989)

Ray (SRC), people will come Ray (Dr. Hite).

They’ll come to Philadelphia public schools for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up at the schoolhouse doors not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at our classrooms as innocent as children, longing for the past.

Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. We’re open to every child in the community. They’ll insist on fair/restorative funding without even thinking about it: for it is sufficient resources they yearn for and peace they lack until the legislators come through.

And they’ll walk around the halls, into the library; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon, talking with the certified teacher librarian; stop by the full- complement counselors’ and nurse’s offices.

They’ll find they have reserved seats in the well-appointed auditorium, where they sat when they were children, sang, played instruments, acted in plays and cheered their athlete classmates. And they’ll see the new or refurbished playground and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters.

The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been public schools.

America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. Schools have been erased like a blackboard, renaissanced, and erased again. But public schools have marked the time. These schools, those teachers: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good (not perfect) and it could be again.

Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

The Voice: If you build{restore -as to Strawberry Mansion- re-open the 23, resource, staff, maintain, and show love and equity} it, they will come.

John (parents & students) : Is this heaven?
Ray  It’s Philadelphia.
John  Philadelphia? I could have sworn this was heaven.