Romney sneaks into Philly
The Philadelphia Tribune
Thursday, 24 May 2012 19:06
In making multiple visits to Philadelphia, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has shown he isn’t afraid to take the fight deep inside a longtime Democratic stronghold. And Romney’s campaign is attacking President Barack Obama’s stance on the one issue most critical to the majority of Philadelphians: public education.
Romney visited Guion S. Bluford Elementary School in West Philadelphia — a Renaissance School matched with a “turnaround” team led by Universal Companies and its founder, Kenny Gamble — on Thursday. In declaring that African-American schools need more money, Romney ripped a page from Obama’s playbook by bringing the conversation to the group of people affected the most.
The Republican presidential candidate visited the school a day after declaring education is the “civil rights issue of our era.”
Romney repeated that declaration during the school visit, but struggled to defend his view that class sizes aren’t a major factor in educational success. Local African-American leaders also said his push for more two-parent families isn’t realistic in their community.
As of press time, officials with Universal haven’t returned calls seeking comment. The School District of Philadelphia also wasn’t aware of Romney’s visit. Bluford sits in City Councilman Curtis Jones’ 4th district, and during Thursday’s Council meeting, Jones voiced his displeasure at both Romney’s low-key visit, and the presidential hopeful’s stance on education.
“Unbeknownst to many people [Romney] was here this morning at Bluford Elementary school where he was espousing his ‘class sizes don’t matter’ and everybody knows, even internally, size matters — class sizes,” Jones said, thanking his Republican colleagues on council for not meeting up with the former Massachusetts governor.
Jones said he only became aware of Romney’s visit through an update on KWY newsradio. Mayor Michael Nutter and District Attorney Seth Williams joined a rally outside of Bluford, condemning Romney’s stances — and for creeping quietly into Philadelphia. In advance of his visit, Romney and his election campaign have simultaneously attacked Obama’s stance as elitist while urging districts to do away teacher unions.
“You know, President Obama likes to talk about how he’s for the underprivileged, but when it comes to the money that comes from the teachers union, he’s putting that campaign cash ahead of the needs of our kids. We have to recognize it’s time to put kids first, to get education on track by giving people greater choice in schools, by making sure we reward the very best teachers with great careers and rising income,” Romney said via a statement released by his campaign. “We know what to do to make our schools better.”
Those remarks mirror what Romney recently told Fox News’ Stave Doocy. When asked about the president’s education agenda, Romney wasted little time in going into attack mode, pointing to a Washington, D.C., school choice program that Romney claims Obama and the teachers union shuttled.
“We have a teachers’ union that too often stands in the way of the kind of reforms that would make education work. We know, for instance, in Washington, D.C., that school choice there helped immeasurably with young people - improving their quality of learning and their skills, and yet the President shut down the program,” Romney said on the news program. “We’ve got to put the unions behind, and put the kids first.”
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan assailed the notion that teacher unions are standing in the way of school reform. Jordan noted that the PFT has sacrificed and produced several rounds of givebacks during recent contract discussions. Jordan said there are other factors in union negotiations that either Romney doesn’t know about or fails to acknowledge.
“We have consistently [partnered with the district on cuts] and I would defy anyone from the board who suggests we haven’t been very effective in working with the district to keep health care costs as low as they can possibly be through negotiations,” Jordan said, during a recent editorial board meeting at The Tribune. “That’s a reality that all organizations have to build in; you shouldn’t ask people to work and not have health care.”
Lis Smith, a spokeswoman with President Obama’s reelection campaign, quickly responded to Romney’s visit to Philadelphia — and to the assertions Romney made; striking at Romney’s often-criticized business models and asking if the presidential hopeful will apply the same tactics to education as he did while at Bain Capital.
“When he’s in Philadelphia today, will Mitt Romney tell the truth about how he wants to apply Romney Economics to education? As we’ve seen throughout Mitt Romney’s career in both the private and public sectors, Romney Economics is all about the short term,” Smith said via a statement released by the Obama reelection campaign. “We’ve already seen what Romney Economics meant for Massachusetts students — larger class sizes, a de-emphasis on critical early education, teachers laid off, and in one year alone, the second-largest per-pupil cuts in the nation … these aren’t the priorities Americans want in our President.”
Tribune staff writer Eric Mayes and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact staff writer Damon C. Williams at (215) 893-5745 or [email]email@example.com
Nice how he just snuck in quietly under the radar and non of the upper officials knew?!
Originally Posted by cleodine velvet jackson
Shows that Gamble & Nutter are not on the same page!
Plus he wants to get rid of child labor laws so he could put those same 5th graders to work
Originally Posted by House4Life
Kenny Gamble takes lead on Million Man weekend
SOLOMON D. LEACH/METRO PHILADELPHIA
Published: October 06, 2011 8:02 p.m.
Last modified: October 06, 2011 8:07 p.m.
f9a60661457b9d9b705ce39dddec.jpg Kenny Gamble said, “We’re reaching out to the young ones.”
Philadelphia was the nation’s first capital and home of the Declaration of Independence. Now it and could be the site of a revitalization of the black community in America, according to organizers of the 16th anniversary of the Million Man March being held in the city this weekend.
Organizers said Philadelphia was chosen as this year’s backdrop because it sent approximately 200,000 black men — the most of any city — to the 1995 March in Washington, D.C. The weekend’s events begin Friday with a Day of Atonement and conclude Sunday with an address by the Nation of Islam’s Minister Louis Farrakhan at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The focus this year is on addressing hunger, street violence and political accountability.
“Something really big is going to come from Philadelphia this weekend, and I believe that it will spread throughout this whole country,” said Minister Ismael Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam’s second-in-command. “That’s what we’re missing: brotherly love. We couldn’t have chosen a better city at this time.”
Music mogul and developer Kenny Gamble, who’s part of the local organizing committee, said that while black people have made tremendous progress — including the election of Barack Obama — they still face challenges in education and economic development.
“This 16th anniversary is maintenance,” Gamble said. “We’re reminding people of the commitments that have to be made. We’re reaching out to the young ones who weren’t born yet so they can experience the vibration that’s going to be felt.”