(Photo via Flickr user Alex Hogan, used under a Creative Commons license)
The Philadelphia School District gets a bum rap.
Philadelphia schools have been plagued by very real horror stories that have perpetuated a negative narrative about the state of local education. The result, says Sustainable Business Network magazine Good Economist, has been a “self-fulfilling prophecy” that’s getting harder and harder to shake.
“Stories of hopelessness are hopeless,” said Councilwoman Helen Gym, whose education policy views were highlighted by network as a platform to urge holistic policymaking. “The best it can inspire is a charitable endeavor but not transformational change.”
That change, said the former community organizer, will not take place in politics. There needs to be a push from the private sector.
That means business leaders and entrepreneurs will need to back the education system instead of taking a hands-off approach, the latter which Gym said leads to parents “leaving the city when their children reach school age.”
What can that hands-on approach to supporting education look like in the business community? For some businesses like eCommerce startup RevZilla, it’s an intimate corporate social responsibility program. For others, it’s in-school or after-school programming.
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Or maybe it just means accommodating a local workforce that has not been given an opportunity to pick up 21st century skills — but is that really viable?
“The business demographics are rapidly diversifying,” said Gym. “You are going to have to train your own employees.”-30-
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