Sharpton, Gingrich visit Philly schools

    Two political foes joining together to promote education reform kicked off a “listening and learning” tour in Philadelphia.

    Two political foes joining together to promote education reform kicked off a “listening and learning” tour in Philadelphia. Reverand Al Sharpton stood side by side with former House speaker Newt Gingrich today at a south Philadelphia school to push for Obama’s education reforms such as longer school days and increasing the number of charter schools.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090929spschool.mp3]

    Both Sharpton and Gingrich say the number one civil rights issue today is education. Along with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, they visited the Delaplaine McDaniel elementary school to speak with students and parents.

    Secretary Duncan says a longer school day can help students achieve more.

    Duncan: To me its not just about a longer day, its about looking at our schools as community resources. I think our schools should be open 12, 14 hours a day with a wide variety of after school programming.

    Duncan was not clear on where the money would come from for longer school days.

    Sylvia Simms has a granddaughter at the school.

    Simms: Well, I don’t have a problem with longer school hours if they gonna be educating the children, but if they are going to have longer school hours and nothing is happening then what’s the sense of having longer school hours.

    The next stop on the tour is New Orleans and Baltimore.

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