This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
As the federal government unveiled its blueprint for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Philadelphia Student Union and Youth United for Change joined a national campaign for changes in the law to help marginalized communities gain access to a high-quality education.
The groups held a rally in LOVE Park as part of a day of action in April sponsored by the Alliance for Educational Justice, a national coalition of youth organizing and intergenerational groups.
“The current [education] policy has changed the school culture with an emphasis on testing, and this works adversely against the quality of teaching and learning we see at our schools,” said Fred Pinguel, a Student Union organizer.
“Our campaign is focusing on making sure there is equitable education for all public schools in the country,” he said.
During the rally, students asked passersby if they knew about NCLB. They used the footage to create a public service announcement (PSA) explaining the impact of the current policy and why it is important to join this movement.
“The PSA is a tool to organize and inform people of the effects of NCLB in our classrooms,” Pinguel said.
To view the PSA, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb2vFgt8unU.