Local leaders, community members come together during education summit

VIDEO: Local leaders, community members come together during education summit

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Student retention, economic barriers and opportunities for youth were some of the issues discussed at an education summit in North Charleston on Thursday.

The event focused on issues and concerns facing African American students in the Charleston County School District.

Summit attendee Jahbrisha Pennick is no stranger to the struggles of navigating public education.

She has to find a new school for her son entering 7th grade after the school he attended shut down this year.

“I don’t want to do any of the local schools in North Charleston," Pennick said. “So we’ll probably be seeing another school in the meantime. Just until things can get a little bit better.”

Charleston County schools make up nearly 20 percent of the lowest performing schools in the state, according to a list released by the South Carolina Department of Education

In order to better address concerns minority students have in the classroom, state politicians, education leaders, and members of the community came together to look at successful strategies used in other states, like Georgia.

“The education community, local education community has reached outside of the state of South Carolina to get some ideas for best practices with the specific aim of improving the quality of the performance for African American students,” Sen. Marlon Kimpson said.

Moving forward, CCSD board member and organizer Kevin D. Hollinshead said he plans to circulate a survey online and in local churches to get more input on concerns that need to be addressed.

“We have to build upon today," Hollinshead said. "We have to get the board members of the Charleston county school district and the superintendent to listen to laypeople.”

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