Unfortunately, Dr. Woodson=s philosophy has never been embraced by the New York City school system. Instead, we have accepted and embraced a Western system of education and would rather promote multiculturalism and diversity than African -centered learning. We should not sacrifice one for the other. Our children can learn it all, but knowledge of oneself must be a priority.
This year has been one of the most stressful and confusing for teachers and administrators in the Department of Education. Amidst all of this chaos, there are some things that are happening in the DOE that are important to our community. Among the greatest accomplishment, is the establishment of Bedford Academy as Bedford- Stuyvestant=s newest high school.
The school is off to a great start which can be attributed to the visionary leadership of its principal, Mr. George Leonard. Mr. Leonard has served our community for many years as a master math teacher and administrator. He proved many years ago that African children can excel in science and math. The school is currently housed at Benjamin Banneker Academy and is expected to move into its newly renovated home at the Bedford YMCA in September.
The other pertinent occurrences are the appointments of Bernard Glassoway and Victor Gathers to key positions within the Department of Education. Specifically, Mr. Glassoway, was recently appointed Superintendent of Alternative Schools and Adult Education and Mr. Gathers Director of Adult Education.
Mr. Glassoway was a brilliant choice by Dr. Lester Young for the powerfully important position as Superintendent of Alternative Schools and Adult Education. Mr. Glassoway, a dynamic young man, was formerly principal of Beach Channel High School and is currently a Revson Fellow at Columbia University. He is the first African- American to head this division.
Of equal importance is Mr. Gathers= appointment as Director of Adult Education. He has jurisdiction over all of the GED & Adult Education programs in the DOE.
Many of our students drop out of high school and return to get their GED. These programs also service adults who want to learn English or obtain basic literacy skills. Mr. Gathers formerly directed the Brooklyn Adult Learning Center on Nostrand Avenue.
It is extremely important that in the midst of all the chaos at the Department of Education, we support the appointments of Mr. Gathers, Mr. Leonard and Mr. Glassoway. These strong Black men have a history of commitment to the community and are in positions to assist our children and adults in a system where their needs are marginalized and go largely unrecognized.