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Miami Media Roundtable on School Reform

Posted: May 14, 2012

At Miami Dade College, which also served as the host for the concluding symposium, Lenore Rodicio, Executive Director of MDC3 Student Success and Completion Initiatives, captured part of the disconnect between the expectations of parents in the NAM poll and their children’s capacity to perform academically upon graduating high school.

She said more than 70 percent of students coming to Miami Dade for their first year of study are “testing as deficient in one or more academic areas and the greatest number of them is in mathematics.” However, she said the recognition of the need for reform has brought elected officials together with business and community leaders to find ways to address education in ways that will enable graduates to be better prepared for the jobs available.

Several panelists, however, stressed that collaboration alone, though useful, will be insufficient in addressing the myriad number of issues that impact education. For panelist Lucie Tondreau, a parent who represented the Haitian community, the failure to pass the DREAM Act results in the inability of many teens from her community to have the legal means to pursue higher education. “Those minds are being wasted,” she said.

The Miami dialogue highlighted several issues on display at the other symposia, including the need for more adequate and better directed funding for education as well as the call for media to hold education administrators more accountable to the public. McNelly Torres, Co-Founder & Associate Director of Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, agreed with those objectives but said that media’s unique role in explaining the need for education reform could only be achieved by media accurately reporting on what’s going on in the schools, talking to students and to parents as well. “You need,” she said, addressing media members directly, “to be out there on the battlefield.”

To read more about the poll and the roundtables, please click here.


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