Real reform requires community voices
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, many lessons have been learned. Education Professor Daniella Cook (at right), PhD, from the University of Tulsa, presented a fascinating perspective about one noteworthy aspect.
Her lecture April 21 at the Tivoli on the Auraria Campus was part of the Global Cities Forum.
Cook’s exquisite “composite” storytelling captured critical moments in time, as her audience learned the devastating effect that Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath had on diverse educators and children in Louisiana Public Schools.
Her messages and findings rang true to the audience which included Denver’s Montbello High School students, professors, staff, students and members of the public.
Cook noted that decision making around current urban reform needs to include the voices of black educators. This was not the case in post-Katrina New Orleans. In addition, we learned that school reform should not be merely technically executed. Community and “kinship” networks (social relationships) matter when it comes to building and staffing schools that work. Solid school reform efforts take into account community strengths and the wisdom from the best teachers while creating educational opportunity for all students.
This lecture was the latest in the series of the Global Cities Forum and was sponsored by the Colorado Center for Public Humanities and the P-20 Education Initiatives at the University of Colorado Denver.