Charles Cole III, who works for the Oakland Unified School District in California, wrote an op-ed on the Huffington Post web site supporting school choice for low-income parents with children stuck in failing government schools.
Demand choice and quality in your schools because you and your child(ren) deserve it. Listen, here are the facts, if you just happen to be a person of color, and you don’t make a lot of money, chances are your school isn’t up to snuff. There are caring people on both sides of this reform/anti-reform debate. There are caring people inside the buildings that occupy your neighborhood, but the facts are clear, that when a school has a large free and reduced lunch student body, the school tends to underperform.
Do you know what happens when parents at high performing schools see things they don’t like? I’ll tell you, they complain, write letters and organize. People, I’ve seen this happen regarding graduation dates and the grass not being cut. Now just picture what they’d do if 80% of the student body weren’t performing at grade level.
Parents with children in these schools can join groups with the power to make changes. They can interact with teachers and principals. Parents can also advocate for the option to send their kids to better performing schools.
The NAACP opposes a scholarship program in Florida that helps low-income families. The organization sides with leftist teachers unions. A group of black pastors urged the NAACP to drop out of a lawsuit against the scholarship program.
Parents can opt to keep their kids in government schools. The key word is choice.
Whether you choose a [Traditional Public School), a Charter or a Private school, you do what is best for you. I’ve seen anti-reformers write things insinuating that people of color that support choice and alternative methods of education are in some form selling out the race or being “house negroes.” Forget all that. We know what’s at stake for our babies without a sound education.
Cole reminds parents that their children’s educational needs come first — before politics or fear of being called a sell-out for not supporting government schools.