Opinion: Can we talk about schools in Philadelphia? - Generocity Philly

Purpose

Aug. 12, 2020 8:08 am

Opinion: Can we talk about schools in Philadelphia?

Guest columnist Ami Patel Hopkins is focused on elevating voices and perspectives in regular, solutions-oriented columns about education-related concerns.

Ami Patel Hopkins.

(Courtesy photo)

Since I released my in-depth analysis of the School District of Philadelphia’s (SDP) original reopening plan and my Generocity opinion piece on reopening, many have reached out to me.

I have had dialogue with families who are concerned about a 100% virtual plan in the fall and have thanked them for sharing as all voices are important. Fellow educators have also reached out expressing how many of their concerns were outlined in my analysis and my opinion piece.

I have also had many conversations with partners in Philadelphia (city employees, nonprofits, out-of-school providers, entrepreneurs, etc.) who are interested in collaborating around school reopening.

I have a unique perspective as I can think from the lens of a current citizen and homeowner in Philadelphia (Northwest Philadelphia); the mother of a 3-year-old who attends a preschool in Philadelphia; a current School District of Philadelphia teacher of color; and the board chair of a school.  I also have a background in public policy and the experience of working in city government, nonprofits, and the SDP central office.

Given this response, I will be writing a biweekly guest column for Generocity.

This column will be a place where I can approach various local, state, national and global education-centered issues and policies from the viewpoints of several stakeholders.  Through this column, I also want to help elevate important voices (i.e. “Black At” Instagram pages, Melanated Educators’ Collective, Racial Justice Organizing Committee, Parents Organized for a Better School District of Philadelphia, etc.)

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It is important that I state clearly from the beginning, that the content of the opinion pieces I will be writing does not represent the viewpoints of organizations that I am affiliated with either professionally or personally.

Before his death, civil rights leader, John Lewis (may he Rest in Power), left us with these words:  “So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.”  These words have resonated with me and thus, I also want this column to be a source of hope and collaboration.  Both of these are needed as we continue to live in a global pandemic and fight for equity and justice.

If you have ideas about issues, policies, and/or perspectives that I should highlight in this column, please complete this submission form.

I am grateful for this opportunity and hope to provide a solution-oriented platform focused on elevating many voices and perspectives.

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