Friday, July 29, 2016

Are Charter Schools Neither Civil or Right? Assessing the Intersection of Voting Rights and Educational Equity – Cloaking Inequity

Are Charter Schools Neither Civil or Right? Assessing the Intersection of Voting Rights and Educational Equity – Cloaking Inequity:
Are Charter Schools Neither Civil or Right? Assessing the Intersection of Voting Rights and Educational Equity
data supports that some measure of political accountability through the electoral process may provide enhanced accountability



In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana Legislature – to the objection of many in the delegation that represented New Orleans – took control of nearly all of New Orleans’ public schools. The legislature targeted New Orleans – a predominately Black jurisdiction – for public school takeover and vested power and control of the lion’s share of the city’s public schools in the Recovery School District (RSD). The RSD was to be a statewide special school district with governance vested in non-elected officials. On these facts alone, one should question the argument that school choice in New Orleans was designed to enhance civil rights. Even assuming that a state takeover of New Orleans’ public schools would result in a world-class education for public school students in New Orleans, it is concerning that the state takeover of public schools would also replace almost all of the power that the popularly elected and predominately Black school board in New Orleans held with a new, predominately White and non-politically accountable power structure. No politician in this country would ever demand that White, middle-class parents exchange political power for the HOPE of better schools.
Recently, the Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal published a piece that I wrote addressing the intersection of the school choice movement and civil rights. The piece is titled, “Killing Two Achievements with One Stone: The Intersectional Impacts of Shelby County on the Rights to Vote and Access High Performing Schools.” The paper recounts the inseparable linkage between the right to vote and equitable access to quality educational opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities. The paper sought to evaluate the role of the Supreme Court’s most recent watershed Voting Rights Act case on educational equity. Using the states of Florida and Louisiana as case studies, the paper uncovers a troubling intersection between state takeover districts that remove electoral power from racial and ethnic minorities and the decreased likelihood that governing bodies (state takeover versus popularly elected local districts) will close charter schools. At least in the case of New Orleans, the results of this research indicate that the school choice movement may jeopardize movements towards civil rights and appears to run counter to Are Charter Schools Neither Civil or Right? Assessing the Intersection of Voting Rights and Educational Equity – Cloaking Inequity:


Big Education Ape: New Orleans tries to mix charter schools with democracy: Is this the district of the future? - The Washington Post - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/05/new-orleans-tries-to-mix-charter.html

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