Why Black and Latino Parents Need To Be Leery of Charter Schools

    Charter Schools Can’t Save The Black and Latino Communities

    by Pam Garrison
    Special to Ed Notes

    The black community and the Latino community both have to be very careful when it comes to charter schools: Charter schools, instead of bringing positive change to a community, eventually divide and conquer that very same community (See the article I wrote on P.S. 160 in Co-op City and The Equality Charter School).

    Moreover, charter schools exploit the house slave/field slave, crabs in a barrel, Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome issues (see the work of Dr. Joy Degruy Leary) within the black community. In other words, charter schools tend to create a dynamic in which a black family or a Latino family will only focus upon the education and educational needs of their own child(ren) at the complete and total expense of the education and educational needs of the rest of the children in their respective communities.

    Now I know that some may say that concerned, committed, and active parents shouldn’t have to be concerned with “other people’s children”. However, this just isn’t the case because no one’s child grows up in a vacuum, completely and totally isolated from other children. Therefore, since your child(ren) can’t grow up in this world without being around other children, those of you who are parents have to have a healthy concern and care for all of the “other people’s children” because what happens to “other people’s children” has a direct bearing upon your child(ren).

    More importantly, neither the black community nor the Latino community has arrived at a time when they can afford to simply not care about the other members of their respective communities. After all, President Obama even said in his July 16th speech to the NAACP, at their 100th Anniversary Convention, that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to help black and Latino children to achieve academically. Moreover, Obama talked about how the U.S.A. would not be able to maintain its status as a world power and as a top producer of college graduates if the black and Latino communities, as well as America as a nation, didn’t do something to help black and Latino youth achieve academic success.

    In conclusion, charter schools with their lottery admission systems and creaming/skimming off the top of the local public schools’ population tactics can’t be a panacea or an all-encompassing cure for either the black community or the Latino community.

    And yes, it still takes a village to raise a child. So that means that all black and Latino parents have to, while they are advocating educationally for their own children, advocate and support Cookie’s children, Luz’s children, Nadine’s children, and Julissa’s children as well.

    The black community and the Latino community can’t afford to do anything less.

    Pam Garrison teaches in NYC and is a member of the Grassroots Education Movement

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Why Black and Latino Parents Need To Be Leery of Charter Schools


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