Monday, July 24, 2017

Randi Said: School Vouchers Have a Shameful History | Alternet

School Vouchers Have a Shameful History | Alternet:

School Vouchers Have a Shameful History

The movement to privatize public education was started by white politicians who resisted school integration.

Photo Credit: Social Welfare History Project, Virginia Commonwealth University

At the exact time I was giving a speech last week to 1,400 educators about ensuring that all children have access to a powerful, purposeful public education, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was addressing the American Legislative Exchange Council—a group of corporate lobbyists and conservative legislators who are working to privatize and defund public education, and cloaking their efforts as school “choice.”
It’s no surprise; no matter the question, for DeVos, the answer is choice. When schools struggle, the “solution” privatization advocates invariably propose is “choice,” with the coda that poor families should have the same educational choices as more affluent families. But that innocuous word belies the record—both the academic results of private school choice and the way it was used historically to continue school segregation after the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.
After the Brown v. Board of Education decision, many school districts, especially in the South, resisted integration. White officials in Prince Edward County, Va., closed every public school in the district rather than have white and black children go to school together. They opened taxpayer-funded private schools where only white parents could choose to send their children.
Members of the American Federation of Teachers sent funds and school supplies. And some traveled from New York and Philadelphia to set up schools for black students, in keeping with the AFT’s tradition of fighting racism and injustice, School Vouchers Have a Shameful History | Alternet:

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