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4 Replies to “Live From Copley – Fairlawn Prison”
How can we help those neighborhoods so when the tuned in escape them, what’s left isn’t an underfunded, poorly staffed school full of kids whose parents are not tuned in?
Or is re-segregation your aim?
TFT: Good point. But what’s the answer? It’s a tough question…
This case highlights the real problem we have in education. As one newspaper put it, there is a 100% correlation between zip code and school quality. In order to solve this problem, we must first face it.
Someone called the mother in this situation the “Rosa Parks of education.” I think perhaps she is. My prediction is that her conviction will be overturned and her children will be invited to attend the best public or private school in the area.
What is the answer? Yes, that’s tough, but basically the answer lies with privileged Americans. Will they be willing to share their resources with children less fortunate than their own? Are they willing, like the characters in the films Precious and The Blind Side, to extend themselves for other people’s children? If not, there is no satisfactory answer, but if so, this is what can happen:
Infant and toddler education. We must do all we can to preserve the health and cognitive development of the infant and toddler. Just this action alone would be huge. Basically, we must erase the preschool achievement gap;
All children in the “worst” (i.e. poorest) schools would be given public school vouchers to attend any school that accepts tax money;
Scholarships to private and parochial schools would be offered by individuals, corporations and institutions;
Magnet and boarding schools would be sponsored by the federal government.
For children who remain in impoverished areas, schools would offer highly qualified and successful teachers, small classes, and social and medical supports. These schools would be open all day and all year.
The present attempt to herd poor kids together and give them a heavy dose of drill and test prep is obviously counterproductive. The civil rights organizations and leaders are right to oppose it.
The United States can no longer afford to keep poor minority kids segregated with low-level skills drill. We’ve got to do better and we will. Thanks to people like the Ohio mother who fight for basic rights. May God bless her and her children and all children who are denied the basic right to a quality education.
Linda’s answer is eloquent. Unhappily in a time of financial stress the sensible policies mentioned are unfashionable.
In Massachusetts venerable Metco program allows inner city minority kids to attend suburban schools. It is stat supported and the tax issues which led to that ridiculous jail term in Ohio do not arise.
The Boston area is rich in good charter schools, and attendance is 70% black and Latino. This inbalance is considered a scandal by those liberals who seem to value diversity over quality of education. What is really interesting about that statistic is the distrust of the Boston public school system by minority parents who care about education.