Thursday, June 25, 2009


I found out recently how the business of education has changed. In past years it was defined by the successful academic accomplishment of students. A large high school graduating class: featuring students going onto college, joining the military and becoming vital parts of society was the former pride and prestige of education. Well, things have changed because the business of education has become contracts, budgets, state financial assistance and changing the complex of communities.

The focal points of every community within urban communities are churches and schools. Well, when the community loses a school for unjustified and crazy reasons then get ready for the downfall of property value, peace and family growth. Some critics would argue that this takes place to aide in a master plan to change the complexion and content of the community. It is clear that education, public education, is directly tied to the betterment and value of the community. So why are you talking about it, well MICAH SIMS SAYS community leaders and residents must become more concerned about the success and vitality of your neighborhood schools.

I was involved in a coalition effort to save my alma mater high school, William Penn High School, in Philadelphia. This group along with other community organizations organized several events to bring about awareness and support to fight a proposed closure by the School District of Philadelphia. In the past 90 days rallies, meetings, media reports and other events were held to prayerfully change the mind of the district and allow this 13acre facility remain a public high school and continue to bring stability to north Philadelphia.

On yesterday afternoon the school district, under the leadership of a new superintendent, heard the final testimonies of community leaders, politicians, former and current students who were hopeful that the school would remain open. Well I’m happy to report that the school district decided, after hearing and reviewing everything, that William Penn High School shall remain. A part of the decision to keep the school open is the possible renovation of the 13acre site or building a new structure to house the school.

MICAH SIMS SAYS that a victorious step for the alumni because our memories and records stay alive. It’s a victorious step for the administration because they don’t have to take the torture of angry supporters and don’t have to become realtors.

MICAH SIMS SAYS the biggest winner are the homeowners and businesses which surround the school who will not watch their property value decrease, revenues decrease and may receive even more services after the renovation and improvements are completed. Yes, education and community are tied together.

MICAH SIMS SAYS thanks to Dr. Ackerman and the SRC of the School District of Philadelphia for keeping my high school open and thanks for the hundreds if not thousands who were supportive in one way or another in keeping William Penn High School open.

MICAH SIMS SAYS see you tomorrow

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