School Choice and Vouchers have a racist history.
“Simple justice requires that public funds, to which all taxpayers of all races contribute, not be spent in any fashion which encourages, subsidizes, or results in racial discrimination.”
-President John F. Kennedy
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Billionaires and far right policymakers are pushing for school choice.
I say they’re pushing for it because voters always turn it down.
Every single referendum held on school choice in the United States has been defeated despite billions of dollars in spending to convince people to vote for it.
But advocates aren’t discouraged that the public isn’t on their side. They have money, and in America that translates to speech.
The Donald Trump administration is dedicated to making our public schools accept this policy whether people want it or not.
But don’t think that’s some huge change in policy. The previous administration championed…
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January 15, 2017 at 11:58
How do the good folks in the Normandy School District fit into this story?
Recall that when given the opportunity to attend schools outside of the Normandy School District, a quarter of all the students in the district left. When the Missouri tried to stuff these students of color back into the public school district that they designed for them (the Normandy Public School District was 97% African American, 92% on free or reduced price lunch in 2013-14), those families sued to have the right to choose schools in a different school district and won.
Did the court make a racist decision when it decided these children of color should be allowed to choose?
January 16, 2017 at 10:04
I’ve never heard of the Normandy School District, so I Googled it. This is what I learned: “The Normandy Schools Collaborative enrolls over 3,500 students in preschool through grade 12”
I didn’t bother to read the rest of the promotional copy, because how does this factor into the fact that community based, democratic, transparent, non profit, traditional public schools have been under attack for decades with funds cut, cut, cut.
And this tiny little school district you mention is one of about 15,000 in the United States spread throughout 50 states (not counting U.S. terrorizes) and those 15,000 public school districts teach about 85 – 90 percent of the 50 million K-12 students.
Normandy school district is in Missouri where the child poverty rate is 20 percent. Spending on public education in Missouri was cut by almost 6 percent between 2010 – 2014.
Poverty is the largest factor in a child learning in school, and that isn’t just in the United States. That is a fact in every country that is tests by the international PISA test. Testing children to rank and fire their teachers and close their public schools that are also suffering from funding cuts is not the way to deal with the results of poverty.
But, according to a Stanford Study, without the test, rank and punish agenda of the NCLB, RTTT and Common Core CRAP (CCC) corporate, greed-is-great, we will use your children like a product on an assembly line, crowd, The U.S. up until recently, for decades, was doing a better job teaching those children that live in poverty in the U.S. than even the highest scoring countries that take part in the International PISA test.
I don’t blame those parents wanting out of their public schools when those same public schools are under constant attack and criticism, even when it is unwarranted, and they face constant cuts to their budgets causing school infrastructure to crumble without proper repairs. Too bad those parents are too ignorant to know what is really going on and that their real enemy is, for instance, Littlefingers Donald Trump, David Coleman, Betsy DeVos, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, the Walmart union hating, poverty-loving (they love other people suffering in poverty especially if they are a minority), Walton family, etc.
The fact is that the traditional public schools in the United States were never better the year NCLB was passed. That was the beginning of the end of the golden age of education in the U.S. The evidence is available to anyone who takes the time to fact check the truth from the primary source of facts. The Nations Report Card,the NAEP, has been around since the 1960s and the results show nothing but steady improvement across the board for every racial and economic group.
In addition, from 1900 when only 7-percent of 17 – 18 year olds graduated from high school, and 3-percent went to college, now more than 40-percent of American adults have a college degree (about three for every job that requires a college degree) and more than 90 percent have earned a high school degree or its equivalent.
Not one country on the planet offers choice and/or vouchers. The highest scoring countries on the international PISA test have strong teachers unions and support their teachers treating them like trusted professionals instead of attacking and punishing them.
The only reason there is a Normandy Public School District in Missouri is because the public schools are under attack (a war on the public sector fueled by bias based on lies and misinformation) and are being neglected by our elected leaders.
Choice is not the answer. Proper funding and support is. In the two countries where choice was offered, Chili and Sweden, both experiments of Choice failed and those countries have returned to the traditional public school model and in the few countries that allow choice, all schools, both public and private, must be transparent and o0perate under the same codes and laws, not the double standard being pushed in the U.S. by the enemies of the public sector traditional public schools that are NOT a monopoly.
Sweden: “International ratings have plummeted and inequality is growing after raft of changes including introduction of voucher system.”
The Failings of Chile’s Education System: Institutionalized Inequality and a Preference for the Affluent
January 17, 2017 at 09:46
The Normandy School District used to have more students. About a quarter of them left to attend a distant suburban school district when Missouri accidentally allowed them to so free of charge. You can listen to the two part This American Life episode about the district here: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/562/the-problem-we-all-live-with
or read about it here: https://www.propublica.org/article/ferguson-school-segregation
Steven deleted my comments that included more information about the Normandy Public School District. The District is 97% African-American and 92% of students are on free and reduced priced lunch. It is a tiny school district because it was designed to hold poor African-Americans and keep them out of the school districts like the Clayton Public School District, another tiny (2,497 students) H shaped school district five miles from Normandy that is designed to serve the relatively wealthy.
Many of the school districts and school catchment lines in within the school districts have racist roots and reinforce racial segregation in the United States. Where public school segregation is the norm, like St. Louis or New York City, choice is likely to integrate schools.
January 17, 2017 at 10:05
I do not agree.
School Choice is doing the same thing it did in Chili and Sweden. Your alleged example of a small Normandy Public School District in Missouri is not the norm.
Florida State University reports, “Although the 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka prohibited de jure racial
segregation in American public schools, de facto segregation persists in many schools around the
country. There is research to suggest that one of the causes of this segregation is the school
choice movement, which includes charter schools, magnet schools, vouchers, and other programs
intended to allow parents more choice in the school their child attends. … The results
indicate that charter and magnet schools are positively correlated with racial unbalance, but not
economic unbalance. Overall this research shows that there may be unintended consequences to
This is exactly the same thing that happened in Chili and Sweden and why those two countries have abandoned the FAILED school choice experiment.
“In some small districts, or in areas of larger districts where ghetto and middle class neighborhoods adjoin, school integration can be accomplished by devices such as magnet schools, controlled choice, and attendance zone manipulations. But for African American students living in the ghettos of large cities, far distant from middle class suburbs, the racial isolation of their schools cannot be remedied without undoing the racial isolation of the neighborhoods in which they are located.”
And in those areas where Choice “might” work, that can still be achieved without losing the community based, democratic, transparent, non-profit, traditional public schools. There is no need to create two systems: one based on the dictatorial corporate CEO autocratic management style, greed-is-great, no rule of law, and secrecy, and the other based on democracy at the community level, transparency, the rule of law, and the public sector where the U.S. Constitution has more influence and offers more protection for children and teachers.
January 17, 2017 at 13:02
Do you really think that segregated traditional public schools is not the norm? You might want to read the Pro-Publica piece again.
When I talk about choice I include magnet schools, charter schools run by local school boards (this is typical for Wisconsin, for example, and required for Kansas), exam based high schools like Stuyvesant, parent created charter schools, teacher created charter schools, a whole host of different schools.
January 17, 2017 at 18:36
I have nothing else to say to you. I’ve already had my say and I stand on it.
January 17, 2017 at 19:16
I am not surprised that you are unable to respond. You might think about this and reconsider your position in light of your inability to give a coherent argument in favor of the position you stand on.
January 17, 2017 at 19:18
I did not say I was unable to respond. I have already had my say. It is a waste of time to continue beating this dead pig. I have said what I think. I’m not going to change my mind.