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Black Culture Charter Schools Education Education Reform Equity and Justice Parenting School Choice Teaching and Learning

Dark Horse List 2020

Education Secretary for Biden Administration

Recently, I released a graphic that showed viable candidates for Joe Biden’s Education Secretary. My rationale for creating the list was simple. I wanted there to be more conversation on the topic. The next Education secretary will be the most critical cabinet decision, in my opinion. Betsy DeVos has done a lot to overturn Obama era educational legislation that benefited Black and Brown students, as well as the policy that has further alienated LGBTQ students. You have seen my initial list, this is my dark horse list.

Big Mad

The initial list was successful in creating conversation. Some folks were “Big Mad” at the candidates that landed on the initial list. In contrast, others appreciated the diversity of thinking that went into making a list to start meaningful conversations.

Dark Horse List

For those of you that don’t know me, I run a charter school on Long Island. So immediately, you might presume that a list constructed by a charter leader would be a pro-choice list. It’s not. It’s a very balanced list highlighting some of the best minds in education on both the pro-charter and anti-charter sides. The “darkhorse list” is more of the same. Folks that claim ed reform, while others claim the system will repair itself. I don’t see how this system can repair itself. Education (at current) does not have good outcomes for Black kids.

Parents are the Experts

I’ll reiterate, I think parents are the experts of children. I also think parents should ultimately determine where their children attend schools. No one but that parent should be able to decide on the best educational options for their child. If you’re here to argue that charter schools siphon money away from traditional public schools, you must also be counter-intuitive in your acceptance of why parents want out of those same traditional public schools. As a parent with children in both traditional public schools and a public charter school, I choose what was best for my children based on my options.

My Dark Horse List

I’ll highlight a couple of my favorite people that made my “darkhorse list”:

Andre Perry, Brookings Institute. Andre has written some solid pieces for the Washington Post and is currently anti-charter school, anti-school choice. The irony of this is that no one ever asks Andre what type of K-12 school he attended, or where his kids attended school. Also, people have short memories about the network of charter schools he ran into the ground in New Orleans, but I’ve still reveled in his ability to reinvent himself. It’s nothing short of amazing.

Keri Rodriguez formed a whole Parents Union (NPU) to help parents organize and better advocate for their children. When you start a whole union, there is definitely talent in that.

Sarah Carpenter, CEO of Memphis Lift. Fantastic energy, straight forward and to the point advocate for children. It does not matter what type of school it is, Sarah only wants good schools for kids.

Diane Ravitch is a hard nose proponent for traditional public schools. She’s a historian who can rally the troops and shape their thinking. My concern is her anti-choice rhetoric, will parents coalesce behind a message that does not support school choice?

Thoughts?

What are your thoughts on the dark horse list? Was it better than the first list? Who should have made it, who shouldn’t have?

Categories
Charter Schools Civil Rights Education Education Reform Politics School Choice

Elizabeth Warren Pulls a flip-flop on School Choice

Senator Elizabeth Warren:

For those of you that do not know, before the presidential aspirations, the exploratory committees, the serendipitous DNA results, Senator Elizabeth Warren was once a champion for school choice.

In her 2003 book, “The Two-Income Trap” (co-authored with her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi), Warren endorsed a school-voucher system to free children from the tyranny of educrats assigning them to schools based on where their parents can afford to live.


Senator Elizabeth Warren

Before the Flip-Flop:

It was during those times; I could see myself backing an Elizabeth Warren run for president. The forward-thinking, the honesty, the willingness to fight for the people was evident in the beginning stages of Warren’s political career.

In an article originated by the NY Post, Warren goes on to state, “With fully funded vouchers, parents of all income levels could send their children — and the accompanying financial support — to the schools of their choice.”

Senator Warren spoke to how zip codes should not be the determining factor of how parents select schools for their children. By selecting schools in this manner, the poor and disenfranchised would always be at a disposition. Schools for the poor are still less desirable than schools for the more affluent. In other words, parents shouldn’t have to buy houses that can’t afford, to have excellent school choices for their children.

Circa 2016, Massachusetts was at the forefront of the school choice debate. The citizens of Massachusetts had a ballot measure Question 2 that supported the expansion of ten new charter schools. Massachusetts charter schools perennially outperform Boston public schools. Adding twelve charter schools would have been a direct measure to level the playing field for the poor. It provides them with much needed school options.


Question 2 Massachusetts Charter School Expansion

No support on Q2:

Senator Warren refused to support the measure. Warren’s rationale for no was as follows, “I will be voting no on Question 2. Many charter schools in Massachusetts are producing extraordinary results for our students, and we should celebrate the hard work of those teachers and spread what’s working to other schools,” Warren said. “But after hearing more from both sides, I am very concerned about what this specific proposal means for hundreds of thousands of children across our Commonwealth, especially those living in districts with tight budgets where every dime matters. Education is about creating an opportunity for all our children, not about leaving many behind.”


Elizabeth Warren 2020:

That’s a direct contradiction to her initial support for school choice. I don’t know which Senator Warren we’ll get if she’s elected president. It is for that reason that During the early stages of the 2020 presidential campaign, I can’t throw my support around Senator Warren. It’s not to say that I won’t, but as an informed citizen I need to hear more. I have to know that Senator Warren will unconscionably fight school choice options for the poor under any circumstances, even if it means she doesn’t win the Democratic primary. It is then and only then will I be able to throw my support around Senator Warren.