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The UCLA Civil Rights Project just released a report on racial and ethnic diversity in New York City schools. For those of us fighting for education justice and equality, the results were staggering and instructive.
“The study notes that many of the charter schools created over the last dozen years are among the least diverse of all, with less than 1% white enrollment at 73% of charter schools… [Researchers] say segregation has the effect of concentrating black and Latino students in schools with high ratios of poor students compared with the statewide average.” (The Guardian)
In 1954 in a decision written by Justice Thurgood Marshall, the doctrine of separate but equal schools was outlawed–60 years ago.

Magnet schools were rated as both most integrated and least segregated.

That phenomenon reflects the desire of families for kids to attend public schools that offer both a quality education and racial and ethnic diversity.

The biggest problem with education in America is that we don’t fund public education as if it were essential to democracy –and it is.

The failure to adequately fund education drives inequality and voter apathy and social class sclerosis. This failure is toxic to democracy and social justice.

Charter schools are NOT the solution to our education problems. Adequate funding, better education policy including recess every day, making learning fun and interactive, parental involvement, and making teaching a respected profession that can sustain a middle class lifestyle are some of the answers.

My mother died at 64 of a massive heart attack, which struck her in the classroom–six months before retirement after a lifetime of teaching. My two kids go to well integrated public schools. Their ability to learn and do well has everything to do with class size, exercise, diversity, and an environment that is not constantly panicked by the next standardized test.

We need education sanity, not right-wing ideology.

Photo credit: National Archives and Records Administration.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.

Originally posted to StewartAcuff on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 07:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges, LatinoKos, and Black Kos community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Every day, I am appalled by the number of people (4+ / 0-)

    who argue for charters, despite the myriad of reasons to oppose them reflexively. The return of segregation isn't even a bug in the system, it's a feature.

    Like the man said, there's a sucker born every minute - and two to take him.

    •  Discrimination and segregation seem to be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cadillac64, alwaysquestion

      endemic and not necessarily antagonistic towards the population distinguished thereby. The problem, IMHO, lies in the exclusive behavior that often follows. Shutting our own kind out of normal intercourse, for no good reason, is shameful behavior. While it may be a lesser evil compared to killing other people outright, it's still shameful. That people are capable of worse, as the documentary about Indonesia relates, should give us pause.

      http://hannah.smith-family.com

      by hannah on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:09:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Charter Schools are A) an Abonination B) Illegal (3+ / 0-)

    Charter schools are a Blatant violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

    All children must have equal access to a quality education, and the Charter school concept is the antithesis of this, providing a better education USING PUBLIC TAX DOLLARS to a "select" few children, to the detriment of the remaining children. Further, subsidizing private businesses that exist to steal the monies under the guise of providing education.

    It is unconstitutional on it's face. It is designed as a mechanism by Republicans to get the Public Tax dollars of the public school system to a place where they can be accessed and STOLEN, pure and simple.

    EVERYTHING Republicans do is to get access to public funds or resources, redirect them from people who need help, to a place where the funds can be stolen. Charter schools, privatizing X, Y, or Z. Contractors doing work soldiers should be doing. All efforts to siphon off tax money to fill the bank accounts of the filthy rich.

    We must draw the line at the Children, or there will be no future.

    Where are The People? Where is the outrage over the very concept, let alone how it is being implemented.

  •  Charter schools take root mostly in (0+ / 0-)

    places of poor performing public schools, which of course, are areas of higher poverty.  Charter schools target the concentrated urban populations to use the exsisting buildings.  Those areas are mostly black populations.

    Charter schools do not pop up too much in areas of higher performing schools.  They couldn't make much of a go of it given a higher percentage of those populations are satisfied with their public schools.

    I do think Charter school owners are looking for the low hanging fruit, I think after a few more years the early performance numbers will prove out to be consistant that Charter schools do not perform any better than, and some cases worse than, public schools.

    We are talking about throwing a ton of money at the problems surround poverty and most of it not inside the school building.

    I live in the burbs of Detroit, MI.  In Detroit, girls are raped on their walk to school and boys are beat up.  The solution:  throw an estimated half a billion dollars to remove blight from Detroit.  Who knew removing abandoned houses for rapists to hide in would be part of improving education?  That is just one expense outside of the school.

    Charter schools do not begin to answer the problems.  But neither do public schools.  That is because the problems are so great outside of the school building.  Rape.  Gangs.  Babies born to babies with no education, no job and no money.  The cycle repeats.  No one wants to live there if they can help it.

    There is no hope of intergrating those schools because no one in their right mind would stay there if any other viable way is available.  Black people leave when they can and white people are not going to take their place if they can avoid it.  Therefore, no intergration.  Not in the high poverty area, anyway.  There is some integration going on where black people are leaving Detroit and moving to the burbs, either buying homes or renting.

    Again, the only real way to solve the problem is to throw a ton of money at it.  Charter schools will eventually fail; they can't throw enough money at the problem.  In the meantime, the Charter owners will walk away with public dollars.

    1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

    by alwaysquestion on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:31:23 AM PDT

  •  Thanks much for the comments. (0+ / 0-)

    They are so valuable, but the segregation gives us another argument against them.

    @StewartAcuff www.stewartacuff.com

    by StewartAcuff on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:38:15 PM PDT

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