Burying Brown and the Board of Education, too


WordPress now alerts bloggers to other blog posts with similar content.  Sometimes it pulls one out of the past, and sometimes the posts pulled up make one shudder.

Reports last April said Nebraska’s unicameral legislature passed a law that will effectively resegregate Omaha’s school system.  Appletree has the story here.  How did it turn out?  I haven’t found much other news on it.

The news and the figures reported are troubling, regardless the final outcome (and I suspect the motion did not proceed exactly as the version reported).  Some of us have long suspected that the anti-education drive, manifested in proposals for charter schools, and especially for vouchers, is simply a masked version of segregation, a way to deprive people of color and people in poverty of a chance for a good education. 

One almost wishes Ronald Reagan were still alive to remind these people that, while a rising tide raises all boats, punching holes in the bottom of the boats sinks them, and in a drought, the entire lake goes dry.  The best ideals of the United States have been expressed in the drive for almost-free, universally-available primary and secondary education, for nearly 200 years.  The U.S. education system remains the model the rest of the world strives to copy.  Getting Americans to commit to keeping that system, and keeping it up to date in a world gone flat (see Tom Friedman) is an important political task for the next quarter-century.

Every kid deserves a chance to achieve as much as she or he can.  We need to focus more on making that happen, for all kids.

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8 Responses to Burying Brown and the Board of Education, too

  1. supratall says:

    Reagan popularized the phrase about a rising tide lifting all boats — and conservatives might, just might, listen to him.

    Like

  2. steven says:

    Ed,

    The year is 2006. The year 1954 was a long time ago. Attitudes have changed. Civil rights laws have been passed. It sounds like you have forgotten some things.

    Now you say that there are many who sincerely believe vouchers will improve education. You didn’t mention this in your original blog. You also say that there are many others that advocate vouchers because they want to end education opportunities for the undeserving. Prove it. You are the one making the accusations. As the skeptics say to those who claim that alien abductions happen, the burden of proof is on you. Not on me.

    Actually, I would like to see the entire educational system privatized. Perhaps not all at once, but a little at a time. And I believe that, as more people become fed up with the one-size-fits-all government monopoly we now have for an educational system, there is a good chance that this may happen. The latest Supreme Court ruling regarding the Cleveland voucher program gives me hope. I believe that incorporating market incentives into our education system would cause vast improvements over what we have now.

    I am pretty sure you strongly disagree with this position. It sounds to me like you are afraid that some parents would make decisions in raising their children that you don’t agree with, and you think that you know better than any parent what is good for their children. I can’t read your mind, of course, but that is what your writings indicate.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    History speaks volumes. You’ve forgotten that, rather than desegregate, Mississippi shut down the entire public school system? You’ve forgotten that, rather than desegregate, Little Rock shut down its entire school system? You’ve forgotten that many counties in Virginia, rather than desegregate, shut down their entire school systems? You’ve forgotten that the rise of private schools in the South begain in June 1954? You’ve forgotten that private schools in the South were — sometmies proudly — called “seg academies?”

    I’ve been involved in school policy for more than three decades. I’m not talking speculative action — I’m talking what is in the history books, what is in the law books. There is a movement in America today that openly advocates abolishing public schools. The Southern Baptist Convention openly debates whether to make it a religious cause (fortunately, saner, more Christian views have predominated there, so far).

    Were the drive for vouchers directed at improving educational opportunities for kids in poverty, we’d see more action in pockets of poverty. But we don’t.

    There are many who sincerely, but wrongly, believe vouchers will improve education. There are many others who are happy to jump on the bandwagon because vouchers further their drive to end education opportunities for “the undeserving.” Parochial schools, by and large, do not educate the poor, or the handicapped. They do not educate those who have had scrapes with the law. And they do not typically locate in areas where people of color live, and where people of color could use vouchers easily.

    Fix those issues, I’ll change my line.

    Historically, vouchers were opposed by people who wanted to prevent aid going to Catholic schools, which do have a good record for educating kids in poverty and kids of color. Voucher support now grows strong in areas where seg academies originally sprang up. Excuse my suspicions, but provide some evidence of virtuous pursuit of good education before you say my simple note of history is spurious.

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  4. steven says:

    To imply that proponents of charter schools and school vouchers are trying to deprive people of color and people in poverty of a chance for a good education is just as ridiculous as to say that the theory of evolution is what inspired Hitler to try to wipe out the Jews. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Like

  5. steven says:

    To imply that proponents of charter schools and school vouchers are trying to deprive people of color and people in poverty of a chance for a good education is just as        stupid as to imply that the theory of evolution is what inspired Hitler to try and wipe out the Jews. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Sorry for my angry tone, but you had it coming.

    Like

  6. Ed Darrell says:

    Reagan popularized the phrase about a rising tide lifting all boats — and conservatives might, just might, listen to him.

    Like

  7. Chris says:

    Why Ronald Reagan?

    Like

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