This piece was written Yohuru Williams, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University (my new dean, by the way, something I couldn’t be happier about, both in my joining Fairfield and having him as a dean) on school inequality, why charter schools are not the answer and outlining why those salivating over charter schools are misappropriating the Civil Rights Movement. There’s one thought that really stands out in a piece that makes incredibly strong arguments:
“This is really the crux of the problem. The Civil Rights Movement was about inclusivity, while those who appropriate its language to buttress corporate education reform do so largely in support of programs that promote exclusivity at the public’s expense.”
This rings especially true after I listened to the most recent episode of This American Life, which was about how Missouri accidentally desegregated schools. The accident happened when the state pulled accreditation from the Normandy School District. That district borders Ferguson, Missouri, and is the district that Michael Brown graduated from. The accidental desegregation resulted in higher test scores for students who ended up in better schools, but the state quickly took care of that “accident,” so the inner city kids ended up back at the schools that were failing them originally.