Mayor Alvin Brown’s Education Summit
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
WHEN: Feb. 28 – March 1
Mayor Alvin Brown
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller
Dr. Bill Cosby, Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Duval Public Schools Superintendent
The national educational climate is changing, growing
numbers of youth are meeting standards, achieving
educational successes and graduation rates are rising.
But… there is little time for celebrations because there
are still too many youth in the educational system
struggling with challenges that affect their educational
Mayor Brown’s Education Summit
begins today, City of Jacksonville Kickoff:
to encourage the continued growing support of the
Jacksonville, Florida community and educational
successes of youth. Parental involvement is the
foundation for the success of students in school.
Parents are the role models for their children in learning,
parents set the tone and direction for their children to
respect teachers and accept their responsibility as
learners in the educational environment that works to
prepare them to excel in a competitive and global
As a father I want to encourage stepfathers, fathers,
grandfathers and uncles to visit their child(rens) school
from elementary to high school. To be an important part
of the educational success of the young girls and boys
in their lives. Dr. William Cosby (Bill Cosby) has for
years as an educational professional spoken of the importance
of the parents and even family involvement in the
educational development of children.
Mothers traditionally visit the school, mothers
have handled homework, school projects, parent/teacher
conferences, lunch money issues, etc. The responsibilities
and frustrations that accompany these parental duties
are taken care of by mothers who view this as an
added part of being a mom. This is not to say that dads
cannot be effective, and are not involved but moms are
the main school intercessory for families. In this
twenty-first century, fathers, stepfathers, uncles and
grandfathers should be taking charge and going out to
the schools. Children want their parents especially fathers
(a male parental figure) to visit their school, to share in
the excitement of learning, the journey of exploration
and the fun of interacting with their friends. Fathers are
missing the important years of their child’s growing up
and developing into the young ladies and young men
that one day will be adults. Even to this day having
visited my children’s school and being involved
when they were in elementary, middle and now
in high school and college, this has provided me a basis
to talk about my children’s day, what they learned, how
are their friends and other important questions that a
parent needs to know and should know.
Fathers that talk to their children stay connected and in touch
with their children, there are emotional changes and peer
pressure as the child develops and the parents needs to
be available to talk and provide support. Parenting should
not ”back off” but increase as the child growing from
elementary school to middle and high school, it should increase.
There are many distractions, challenges and potential dangerous
elements in our communities that try to take children’s
attention from learning. Fathers and mothers need to
communicate with their children to make sure they are on
the right road to success.
Fathers expressing your desire for your children’s success in
life is important, but making sure that your children gain a quality
education and instilling this in them early is vital. Knowing that
as a father you can contribute to their education, that is what a
REAL father does, he accepts this responsibility and is accountable
for their children’s behaviors. Fathers push their children to
excel in education, even if you did not finish high school or
attend college you should make sure your children are successful.
Data shows the results of men being involved in their children’s lives.
There is more of an impact when “fathers” visits than mom.
Stated on Fatherhood Online, that is developed from the
National Fatherhood Initiative. “Children with involved, loving
fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school,
have a healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social
behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use,
truancy, and criminal activity compared to children
who have uninvolved fathers” (1994-2006).
During the recent Florida Department of Juvenile Justice meeting
at Florida State College of Jacksonville, many youth in the
“system” are without involved and loving fathers. They report
that if there was a father involved and active many youth would
not have been involved in criminal behaviors. The data on girls
shows girls are more violent, participating in growing crimes
and involved in disruptions in schools and even on Social Media
(Fl Dept of Juvenile Justice http://www.djj.state.fl.us)
Girls are attempting and committing suicides because of the
pressures from Bullying, harassment, low self-esteem, and
involvement in sexual behaviors that leave psychological and
emotional scares. Girls need and want their fathers to be involved
but do not have the communication skills to tell their fathers this.
Parental involvement is vital not only to the educational success of
youth, teens and young adults, but also to keep them from being
immersed in the Juvenile Justice system.
Jacksonville, Florida needs to support the efforts of Mayor
Alvin Brown and the Education Summit. The faith based
community, business community, not for profit organizations
community stakeholders need to be involved supportive and
an encouragement to parents.
The youth of today will be the community leaders of tomorrow,
as Frederick Douglas stated, It is easier to build strong children
than to repair broken men.
Goals: Day 1 – Dr. Bill Cosby Visit
– Raise awareness for public education.
– Raise money for Mayor Brown’s education initiatives.
Florida Theater Performance
Opening act: DCPS drum-line competition
Audience participation & judging of winners
Mayor Brown awards trophies for 1st – 5th place winners
Dr. Cosby performance
Goals: Day 2 – Full day session at
Jacksonville Main Branch Library
– Build on the current excitement and maintain
momentum for public education.
– Garner a better understanding of major education
initiatives while hearing from senior community
– Encourage collaboration among organizations
– Exchange ideas on how to increase parental
– Explore the value of establishing a parents academy
as a specific element of increasing parental involvement.
– Exchange ideas regarding specific mini-workshop
topics in the context of increasing parental involvement;
report-out on preliminary recommendations, takeaways,
and suggested future actions regarding each topic.