Killing Public Education In People of Color Communities

Going on seven years now that i have been exploring various issues and concerns that affect the most vulnerable members of our society . There is a reoccurring theme of camouflaged oppression in most every attack placed on those who are different from the oppressor. Our most vulnerable citizen are judge by their differences and make those with the all about me mentality uncomfortable. We currently have administrations in our public services, local, state and federal governments demonstrating the comfort level for individuals out weighing the human collective spirit.

My advocacy is to #EndRapeCulture and build platforms for  #HumansInvolved. This rape of culture has been going on since the invasion of our country and is captured in the One Book One Philadelphia Readings that i have been following since 2014.

One Book One Philadelphia 2016 “Cold Mountain”

Dismantling public education is one example demonstrating the reoccurring theme of camouflaged oppression. We know that education is the key to freedom and slavery has been the key to private freedoms. The private sectors of our society seem to be stuck in their childish ways of all about me and forget everybody else. The private sector insist on manipulating protections aka laws that were never meant to be changed. Such as public funding was to remain public and not used for private expenses. Much like the catholic church aka the private sector was to honor space for African Americans then changed that clause by closing their spaces.

Dr. Hite the superintendent of Philadelphia public schools and his crew are the tokens doing the work of the private sector. He starved and closed 30 plus schools and plan to close at least three a year for the next five years. The Alliance for Philadelphia Public schools recently held a requiem for the closed and anticipated closed schools. APPS base is retired educators who in retirement support quality public education for all. Members of APPS include current educators, parents and community members. APPS can help stop closures of local schools and would like to organize parents and schools now to prevent any further community school closings. For more information, Contact Karel Kilimnik – 215-301-3569 philaapps@gmail.com

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Serious questions have arisen about how these private meetings between District officials and charter executives have influenced the District’s decisions over the last six months. Kacer sat across the table from managers and board chairs of the very schools for which she decides whether to recommend renewal.  At the May 1 SRC meeting, she referred several times to the “Mastery family of schools.”

District officials told NewsWorks that the purpose of the meetings was to form an alliance to stop Pennsylvania House Bill 97, a new charter bill that would have serious financial repercussions, from being passed. That bill, of course, would have to be palatable to the charter owners and investors including Mark Gleason, who in 2015 offered the SRC $35 million to approve 39 new charters. Offering government officials large sums of money to pass a resolution is the definition of a bribe, but the SRC actually considered it. This year alone, the SRC has approved five resolutions in as many months for PSP initiatives in public schools. Why were no independent education activists — no parents or educators —invited to the table?

When public officials meet with organizations that they have been entrusted to regulate, the people have a right to know exactly what they are doing and saying. Hite had many opportunities during those six months to inform the taxpayers who pay his salary what he and his staff were negotiating with charter operators.

No one other than those in the room knows what was discussed or negotiated. After months of secrecy, the District cannot expect anyone to trust its word on this. We don’t know all of the players or the totality of what was discussed. The Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools has filed a right-to-know request asking for the names of all who attended, minutes of meetings, and all communications.

Parents, educators, and community members who advocate for public schools at SRC meetings know that their microphone will be turned off at exactly three minutes. But charter managers get all the time in the world.

Lisa Haver is a retired teacher and co-founder of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools (APPS).  Lynda Rubin is a retired school counselor and legislative liaison for APPS. https://appsphilly.net/

Parents please lets get together and talk about what is best for all or our families and how we can achieve that success. Mastery took over Cleveland elementary and the school wasn’t failing, they just took over the school. This year Mastery will not be providing the families of Cleveland with a summer program, instead they have set their sites on Steel elementary and will host a summer program there without thinking of the Cleveland families. Mastery is one of the hook and bait companies that we don’t need dividing our communities. We can remove these bandaids from these deep wounds and begin to build our communities with quality education facilities like Steel. We can’t afford to lose another great public school. Why is Steel great? They have an African American principal who promotes African American culture and has partnered with the parents to cater to the needs of the demographics. The oppressor isn’t happy with cultured centered education, they want to conform us all into slaving for their economy.

Betsy DeVos Doesn’t Get It: Catering to the Desires of Individuals Won’t Serve the Common Good

Betsy DeVos is a libertarian. One cannot drill this concept often enough. DeVos believes in the freedom of individuals to make the choices that benefit themselves and their children. It is the kind of thinking that promotes the rights of individuals above all else. Wikipedia’s definition of libertarianism perfectly describes the thinking of Betsy DeVos: “Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, individual judgment, and self-ownership.”  Libertarians don’t believe government should interfere with individual liberty.

The other day, Betsy DeVos made people in the audience mad when she addressed the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (We’ll ignore for a minute the fact that charter schools are, as a form of private contracting, not really public schools.), because she didn’t seem fully to endorse charter schooling. Here is what she said: “Charter schools are here to stay… But we must recognize that charters aren’t the right fit for every child. For many children, neither a traditional nor a charter… school works for them… I suggest we focus less on what word comes before ‘school,’ whether it be traditional, charter, virtual, magnet, home, parochial, private, or any approach yet to be developed… and focus instead on the individuals they are intended to serve… We need to get away from our orientation around buildings or systems or schools and shift our focus to individual students.”  She also emphasized “the parents’ right to decide.”

She also criticized the bureaucracy and red tape that she believes are hampering charter schools, a critique meaning that DeVos rejects the role of government to protect our society through regulation. For DeVos, government regulation is the enemy, which is why the Great Lakes Education Project—the Michigan lobbying organization founded and funded by DeVos and her family—strong-armed the Michigan legislature to defeat the plan for a Detroit Education Commission to bring Detroit’s out-of-control, for-profit charter school sector under some oversight and to ensure that schools open in neighborhoods that need schools instead of neighborhoods with an oversupply of schools.

Betsy DeVos’s libertarianism allows her to ignore the concept of opportunity cost in education. She worries about liberty and freedom for each particular parent and child, but the mechanics of how we’ll pay for all this elude her. Economists call it “opportunity cost” when, because the budget is fixed, we have to  choose what we can afford. If we choose one kind of publicly funded school, we can’t also fund private alternatives unless we increase the budget. Opportunity cost in education is obvious to parents of children in public schools whose classes are getting larger, for example. Our problem is threefold, but Betsy DeVos doesn’t notice: (1) the overall federal budget for education has declined due to austerity budgeting and the sequester, (2) state budgets, a primary source of education funding, have fallen in nearly half the states since the 2008 recession, and (3) we have at the same time added publicly funded, privatized alternatives—charter schools and vouchers to pay for private school tuition. Hence, we’ve lost the opportunity to spend as much on the public schools—which continue to educate 90 percent of our society’s children.

aliciadorsey2

Retired Cosmetologist reinventing myself as a professional digital media consultant. Studied Hospitality at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa Florida where I interned with "Celebrity Catering" and "Live Nation". That internship exposed me to professional catering and gave me great preparation and implementation skills. Mother of two young men, grandmother of two grandsons. I became a parent advocate first and learned that my community also needed advocating. Studying Digital Media and Black and White Photography at Community College of Philadelphia to produce professional documentation of the various issues and concerns in our society.

7 thoughts on “Killing Public Education In People of Color Communities

  • June 21, 2017 at 08:57
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    Education is the key to turning this world around. Many people talk about change, but have the slightest idea of what it takes to change. I am not suggesting that everyone needs to know everything, but I think some of the basics are being neglected. No matter if we want to change the world through protest or the court room we must be informed on processes work, and what parts we play in the process.

    There are many American citizens running around declaring The United States of America as the best country in the world. I believe they do that because they are not educated to how American compares to other countries. This reference https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/best-education has the top five countries for education. America is not on the list. You don’t have to look at this reference do a search for yourself. Even as you go back in time you will see that America has not been rated number one in a long time. You can see the same is true with things like infrastructure, health care, and civil rights. (WHATTTTT, civil right?— yea )

    Philadelphia does not care about public education or their people. There has been two taxes raise on cigarettes and one on soda. Each one of these tax raises were supposed to be for public education yet there are still plans to shut down school. This has also happen with public library. Philadelphia has keeps taking away the safest place for kids, and then throws them in jail for getting stuck in the street life.

    I am willing to go any place that will help educate the parents of that area. Philadelphia is my home town. My mother took control, educated herself enough to get my three siblings, my grandma, and myself from the city. To me this means that others can do that same. I am not saying the best way to fix Philadelphia is to leave, and never look back, but to rise above their oppression and empower others. I may not live in Philadelphia currently, but I try to make the big on the people who live there by connecting with their activist.

    @aliciadorsey2, if you know anyone who wants to come on any of my shows and speak about what is happening in Philadelphia please send them my way. I am willing to listen and see how I can help within my means.

    Reply
  • June 21, 2017 at 09:29
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    thanks Desmond for your response, you added another element to the discussion when you mention how your family moved out of Philly like so many are doing because of the dismantling of public resources like public education and our right to breathe. i will let education advocates know about your interest in interviewing them for your show, we have plenty to share with you and your audience. we want the school reform commission to abolish themselves and for pennsylvania to properly fund all of our schools. Gov. Corbett destroyed the Accountability Block Grants for private use so now there is a push for an accountable school district aka an elected board that i’m not to crazy about but will run for one of those positions if that is the route taken because i’m pass tired of all the corruption taking place on our most vulnerable citizens!! thanks for being you and i will be in touch soon!!

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    • June 30, 2017 at 16:17
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      Many people desire to get out of the cities. They are over populated, under funded, and have been historical oppressed.
      Taxes have been raised in the name off school funding more times than I can count since 2008, but I have seen no progress for Philadelphia school system, nor many other aspects that need growth.

      Reply
  • June 21, 2017 at 10:48
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    what is not talked about in the mainstream media is the fiscal problems major cities are facing . Unlike the federal government cities are states can not borrow infinite amounts of money.

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    • June 30, 2017 at 16:18
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      That is something that needs to be talked about. However, the federal government is really borrow money. Money is just made.

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      • June 30, 2017 at 22:29
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        our city and state has funds to fund our schools please don’t be fold, there is plenty of money marked for festivals, prisons and whatever. holding them along with the school board accountable is the challenge.

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  • June 30, 2017 at 23:05
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    I know and believe that. All levels of government are the same. They send more money on stuff that males a negative impact to society than a positive one. There are some positive things for the community, but the turn outs are generally same. The really large events are usually filled with people from out of town. The local events and groups that do the most good for the city are privately funded. Collected and produced funds need to be granted to the right places.

    Reply

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