A Critical Conversation Continues Beyond the Symposium: Education in the District of Columbia

R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center was the place to be for the \”Race & Policy: Advancing Racial Equity and Economic Inclusion in the District of Columbia\” symposium co-hosted by Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie along with the D.C. Policy Center and Consumer Health Foundation.

The well-attended event was standing room only, awaiting the panel discussions on various topics to take place:

  • Education & Employment – Achieving Racial Equity in District of Columbia Education
  • Health – Examining the Determinants of Health Equity
  • Housing & Economic Development – Revitalizing Communities to Achieve Racial Equity
  • Access to Capital for Minority – Owned Small Business in DC

In time for the very heated and engaged Education & Employment – Achieving Racial Equity in District of Columbia Education panel discussion, moderated by Kristen Moore, Ed.D., Coordinator, Student Empowerment and Equity Programs, some in attendance felt there wasn\’t enough time for presenting more than three questions, on such critical issues currently impacting students in the public schools.  Councilmember McDuffie stood at the podium in the crowded room at the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and informed all attendees that the symposium wouldn\’t be the last and due to the responses the conversation should continue at a later time considering three other panels were scheduled to present.

Currently, the city\’s education system is going through a transition from the selection of a school Chancellor to learning which curriculum works best in this digital age while keeping students engaged in the classroom lessons.  Not only the transition underway, but the past history of inflation of test scores, school books staying in the warehouse instead of at the schools, low graduation rates, along with students dying on school premises.  Perhaps, continuing the conversation is vital and critical to maintaining any possibility of change in the District Public School system, and looks to be Councilmember McDuffie is leading the charge with providing a safe space for a panel discussion despite only three questions being presented by the audience.

The conversation is to be continued and here are a few questions that could spark that conversation:

  • How do we educate families?
  • What does it mean to prepare students and families for education?
  • How do you close the achievement gap when a student\’s confidence is lost?
  • How will students with impoverished backgrounds cover the cost of college textbooks?


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