I’ve heard it all before… and hearing it now still doesn’t change the idea that racism has been exploited to block educational reform. Here’s why I say this. I’m a long time support and member of the NAACP. I believe in the mission, the legacy and those committed, on the ground workers. I am also a Charter school Leader and Board Chairman. In reading the reading comments and criticism of Randi Weingarten on the charter movement, I find it to be an example of the very thing she’s claiming the movement to be. We have to first stop suppressing innovation and options for others to find academic success. We have to also work even harder to find a healthy balance and relationship for public traditional and charter schools. We have to be intentional about how we bridge this gap. It’s like a co parenting situation. In order for the child to truly be healthy and happy is for the parents to come to a mutual understanding and respect of each other.
The notion and claim that the charter movement drives segregation and is built on racism is almost like acknowledging that Brown Vs the Board of Education didn’t happen because of the same antics happening in public schools. We use racism as a way to generate buzz and to keep people from working together. Racism is misused to perpetuate the us for them mentality instead of building trust through collaboration and change through compromise. Let’s be clear, no one has the perfect fix to education. However, we all have best practices that if connected can help repair the broken design for this educational system. That’s the impact of reform. Tactics that create a divide amongst us when we all want our children to have a quality education within an environment that provides excellent academic and cultural opportunities.