Putting Education Reform To The Test

Documentary Sparks Conversation About Struggling School In Duval County

This weekend, a Duval County high school will be hosting a conversation about volunteerism, bridging disparities and the community roll of a historic African-American school.

William M. Raines High School opened in segregated Jacksonville in 1965. Its first principal famously hired the best teachers he could find—recruiting educators with degrees from Columbia. For decades, it was a community pillar.

But in recent years, Raines has struggled with poverty, neighborhood violence and low test scores. At one point, the state threatened to close Raines and several other failing Duval schools.

But for many Raines grads—including filmmaker Emanuel Washington—the school was too important to dissolve.

Washington made a documentary about the school’s history, We Remember Raines, which will be screened at the school on Saturday.

The screening will be accompanied by a series of conversations about how the Raines community can support the school now. The event, which takes place from 12:30 to 4:30 on Saturday, will also include a community services fair.

Jacksonville students and educators will be microblogging the conversation on Twitter. You can follow the conversation with the hash tag #CommunityComebackStill.


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