Tag Archives: thurgood marshall

To Fix Public Education, Let’s Eliminate Private Schools

While hardcore progressives and Tea Party activists continue cozying up to each other in a shared rejection of the Common Core, I have a radical proposal to make – and it might just be crazy enough to garner an equally eclectic coalition of support:

Let’s eliminate private schools altogether. Or, better yet, let’s make every school both public and private.

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Categories: Equity, Learning, Organizational Change

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Should States Be Sued for Providing Low-Quality Schools?

How’s this for a summer blockbuster – the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of Michigan for violating the “right to learn” of its children, a right guaranteed under an obscure state law.

That assistance hasn’t happened, says Kary L. Moss, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the ACLU. “The Highland Park School District is among the lowest-performing districts in the nation, graduating class after class of children who are not literate. Our lawsuit . . . says that if education is to mean anything, it means that children have a right to learn to read.”

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When it comes to the free-speech rights of teachers, the joke’s still on us

The good news is that Republican lawmakers in Arizona are now retreating from their recent proposal to require teachers to limit their speech to words that comply with FCC regulations on what can be said on TV or radio — a half-baked idea rightly characterized by one critic as the “most hilariously unconstitutional piece of legislation that I’ve seen in quite some time.”

The bad news is that, Arizona’s foolishness aside, when it comes to the free-speech rights of teachers, or any other public employee, the joke is still on us.

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Other People’s Children

Last week, CNN reported on recent events in Garfield Heights, Ohio, where austerity measures have led local school officials to shorten the schoolday to five hours, get rid of subjects like art, music, and PE — and send kids home before lunch. What didn’t come out during the piece was that these drastic decisions were fueled in part by the community’s refusal, over a 20 year period, to pass a levy that would help support the schools. Like many places across the country, Garfield Heights’ residents were getting older, its younger people were moving away, and those that remained didn’t see sufficient value in a measure that would be used to support the education of other people’s children.

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Is a Free Education a Fundamental Right?

Should your zip code determine your access to the American dream? Or is the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee to provide “equal protection” a principle we have silently agreed to uphold in theory – but not in practice?

I’m starting to wonder after reading about Tanya McDowell, the Connecticut mother facing felony charges for lying on her five-year-old son’s registration forms so he could attend a better school. McDowell’s story is painfully reminiscent of Kelley Williams-Bolar, the Ohio mother who made a similar choice earlier this year – and is now a convicted felon.

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55 Years Later, Doesn’t Every Child Deserve a High-Quality Education?

Today America marks the 55th anniversary of Thurgood Marshall’s historic victory in Brown v. Board of Education. If Marshall were alive, however, he would urge us to stop celebrating 1954 and start accepting responsibility for our complicity in the creation of a “separate but equal” education apartheid system – with one method of instruction for […]

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