Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Charter and Voucher debate: Julian Vasquez Heilig vs. Chris Stewart – Cloaking Inequity

Charter and Voucher debate: Julian Vasquez Heilig vs. Chris Stewart – Cloaking Inequity:

Charter and Voucher debate: Julian Vasquez Heilig vs. Chris Stewart


Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment. When there is debate, there are solutions. When there is no sharing of power, no rule of law, no accountability, there is abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation. Atifete Jahjaga
Last evening I debated Chris Stewart from Education Post in a Cambridge-style debate. The quick back story on the debate is that I was poking Shavar Jefferies (National President, Democrats for Education Reform) on Twitter on backing out on a debate about charters. Chris Stewart, Education Post staffer, responded to my tweet and stepped up to debate. So kudos to Chris Stewart for coming to California State and for contributing to our open society and democratic process for enlightenment.
The motion under debate was: “Charters and Vouchers are the Answer”
FOR the motion: Chris Stewart, Director of Outreach and External Affairs, Education Post
AGAINST the motion: Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig, Professor of Education Leadership and Policy Studies, Sacramento State
We were pleased the debate was moderated by Kitty Kelly Epstein, host of the Education Today radio program on KPFA.
I’ll begin with my 6-minute and 2-minute closing statements. Then I will post the entire debate on YouTube.


6-min intro
Student achievement data in the U.S. show long-standing and persistent gaps between White students and students of color. This hasn’t been by mistake. Paolo Friere suggested that the lack of an adequate education in certain schools is clearly purposeful. It truly is the shame of our nation.
Structural racism and unconscious bias has a history of being born out in public policy and the courts, in housing, and even today in school finance.
Concern about pervasive inequalities in traditional public schools, combined with growing political and corporate support, has created the expectation that school choice is the answer for poor and minority youth.
As a result, many reformers have framed school choice as a “civil rights” issue.
In fact, Donald Trump has proposed spending $20 billion on charter schools and vouchers. In his most recent budget he proposed cutting after school programs, college grants, federal work study for college students and other important efforts so that he could spend $1.4 billion right away on charters and vouchers.
Billionaire philanthropists, policy advocates, and leading pundits have supported Secretary Betsy DeVo$ and she has conjured of the broader Civil Rights Movement as synonymous with market-based school choice.
Now, is a watershed moment for school privatization and private control via vouchers and charters.
It is becoming more clear by the day that Donald Trump and Betsy DeVo$ love privately-managed school choice.
This is despite the fact that the data in Michigan shows that the for-profit charter school takeover of Michigan public schools had coincided with a precipitous drop in my birth state’s drop in national standings on the NAEP.
Civil Rights organizations have taken notice of the research, engaged with investigative journalism and listened to communities. As noted recently by civil rights groups such as the NAACP, Journey for Justice and the Movement for Black Lives, charter schools are far from a Charter and Voucher debate: Julian Vasquez Heilig vs. Chris Stewart – Cloaking Inequity:

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