Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jitu Brown: School Choice Is A Scam In Segregated Neighborhoods | PopularResistance.Org

School Choice Is A Scam In Segregated Neighborhoods | PopularResistance.Org:

School Choice Is A Scam In Segregated Neighborhoods

Photo by Marc Monaghan
Wendell Phillips Academy High School is a public school located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.

Above Photo: Photo by Marc Monaghan. Wendell Phillips Academy High School is a public school located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos seems not to hear the fierce protests of parents, teachers and school officials over school closings and charter expansion in New York, Chicago, Oakland, Detroit and other American cities. How else to explain her continuing tone-deaf comments praising the glories of school choice?  In truth, school choice does not exist in most black and brown communities in the United States. That is why her words ring false and her promises sound empty to the people living in those communities.
Whatever hope existed that DeVos would learn on the job and inform her boss, President Donald Trump, of the need to respect that history and build on the effectiveness of American public schools while improving them, has been dashed. During her confirmation hearings, DeVos was criticized for her lack of experience with and knowledge of the public education system.
Her later words at the Brookings Institution exemplified someone in a position of great power, who just does not get it: “How many of you got here today in an Uber, or Lyft, or another ridesharing service? Did you choose that because it was more convenient than hoping a taxi would drive by? Even if you didn’t use a ridesharing service, I’m sure most of you at least have the app on your phone. Just as the traditional taxi system revolted against ridesharing, so too does the education establishment feel threatened by the rise of school choice. In both cases, the entrenched status quo has resisted models that empower individuals.”
What DeVos fails to understand is the intentional structural racism that has been accepted by Democrats and Republicans, where children from black and brown communities are intentionally underserved by the system all citizens pay taxes into.
In Chicago, a child who goes to a neighborhood school near DePaul University enjoys a teacher’s aide in every class, robotics, debate teams, fully stocked libraries and after-school programs; while on the south side of the same city, in some schools there is one teacher’s aide in the building, with no library, no world language and 42 kindergarten students in one class.
In the historic Bronzeville community on the South Side of Chicago, simply to save Walter H. Dyett High School, our community’s last open enrollment neighborhood high school, I joined 11 other parents on a hunger strike for 34 days, from Aug. 17 through Sept. 24, 2015.
On the 25th day, Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a $21 million annex at Lincoln Elementary, a school with an upper-middle-class, white constituency in the upscale Lincoln Park community.  Today, Walter H. Dyett is open, serving School Choice Is A Scam In Segregated Neighborhoods | PopularResistance.Org:
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