Friday, December 14, 2001

NAACP seeks school input




By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Funding cuts in schools, limited input in school reforms and other matters occupied some of the 35 parents and observers of Cincinnati Public Schools who attended a Thursday night education summit.

        The summit at the Bond Hill Community Center was sponsored by Cincinnati's branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

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        Edith Thrower, chairwoman of the NAACP's education committee, said she plans to take testimony from Thursday's forum and two more to come to create a report including recommendations for Cincinnati Public Schools.

        The report will be forwarded to CPS's board of education and the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers.

        “If you are happy about something, we need to know that,” she said. “We also need to know what your concerns are.”

        LaToya Andrews, a 15-year-old ninth grader at Hughes Center in University Heights, said she wants books that include up-to-date achievements of African-Americans and more subject matter about African-American history.

        “When Black History Month comes around, that's the only time you hear about it,” she said.

        She also said classroom instruction should be offered in a fun way for students.

        Margaret Peyton, of Kennedy Heights, said she wants to know why, on Dec. 3, the CPS board of education decided to change the way it funds schools.

        Under the new system, many magnet schools, or those with special programs, lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.

        She said the board's decision came at a time when the federal government is poised to give urban schools more money through President Bush's education bill being considered by the House and Senate.

        She added that the board could've left the magnet schools funding as it was and waited to see how the federal government would dole out money to urban schools.

        “I'm concerned about how the board members are allowing good schools to go down,” she said.

        The NAACP invites people with concerns or compliments regarding Cincinnati Public Schools to call its office at 281-1900.

       



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