Tasliym Morales

Chester’s Tasliym Morales traces the beginnings of her journey as an advocate for education to her middle-school years in Virginia, when she took notice of the rampant practice of student ‘tracking.’ Tracking involves school administrators making decisions about which students end up on which ‘track’ (academic or vocational, for example) based on progress reports, tests, the location of their residence and other anecdotal evidence. As a student ‘tracked’ in a non-academic curriculum, Tasliym fought back.

“Once I got to high school, because the classes that I took were the AP (advanced placement) classes — the advanced Spanish, the advanced math, all of those classes I would not have been privileged to if I was not on the academic track. At that moment I started to spread the information to other people and other children that lived in the projects where I lived, letting them know that you can go and have your schedule changed to take these classes.”

When Tasliym moved to Chester in 2011, she immediately took action to advocate on behalf of children enrolled in the crisis-ridden Chester Upland School District. She founded Parents as Partners, a parent support group at Chester Charter School for the Arts, to build sustainable parent-school-community partnerships. Tasliym is also the founder of “We in US” — a product of her graduate research study completed at Neumann University for the Master’s of Science degree in Organizational and Strategic Leadership.

Tasliym continues her advocacy by serving as a member of Chester Upland’s renewed Parent University. She is currently running for a seat on CUSD’s board of directors to assist in creating a more holistic relationship between the district, the community, and families.

By suppressing the opportunities of the “have nots” and enhancing the opportunities of society’s “haves,” tracking mechanisms serve no other purpose than to perpetuate the historical hierarchical status quo.

Elia V. Gallardo, Hierarchy and Discrimination: Tracking in Public Schools

Tasliym tells her story