Today’s battle is being fought across the country, including – once again – here in Delaware, led by Gov. Jack Markell, who won a round when the state Legislature failed to override his veto of “opt-out” legislation that would have allowed parents to exempt their children from rigorous tests that gauge how much they’re learning.
Sustaining the governor’s veto was round one. But the fight is not over. The people of Wilmington need to fight on, to demand equity, excellence and high standards of our schools and leaders across the board – equitable funding levels, excellent teachers in every classroom, state-of-the-art school facilities – for all Delaware students, not just some.
Michael L. Lomax is president and chief executive of the United Negro College Fund, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African-American students and a leading advocate of college readiness.
Governor Jack Markell is doing nothing to address the core problems in public education such as not addressing the cherry-picking of charter schools and specific interest charter school admission that locks-out at-risk minorities. Equity cannot be had with charter schools and traditional public not equal in student admissions.
As far as Mr. Lomax’s slap in the parent face re: the testing Opt-out, he is not on the side of parents and seems to support the Wall Street testing ponzi scheme. We’ve collected enough data over the last 50 years to conclude the white status-quo doesn’t give a rat’s ass about black children. Delaware School Choice law lacks transportation accommodations for Wilmington poor while the Neighborhood School Act allows white suburbia to build new schools rather than utilize empty seat in Wilmington school at the same time, Red Clay Wilmington children are bused to the suburbs do to no traditional Red Clay middle or high school in Wilmington.
In deed we need needs based funding! However, millions being wasted on the Smarter Balance Assessment could be better served providing tangibles to our most neediest schools such as in more teachers and more paraprofessional. District level “assessment” have revealed for years the same conclusions as statewide assessment test. Every time there is a call to reform public education we add more consultants and more administration. Look how over-bloated the Delaware Department of Education is. We have a charter school unit who send state representative to charter school Citizen Budget Oversight Committees and we’re being robbed blind! Right under DE DOE’s nose!
The are those who claim public education is the most important civil rights issues of this generation! Folks that is a white diversion! Civil right issues are the most important issue of every facet of life! There are those in Wilmington are all so willing to farm-out black children to the white suburban master who fail to see, Red Clay hasn’t been living up to the promise of equity. Then there is Jack Markell who takes his public education marching orders from rich million-billionaire white men! Again, why is it rich million-billionaire white males control public school reform efforts?
Nothing will change in Wilmington until “fathers” act like men and advance the civil rights agenda impacting black children on their terms! As far as those minorities standing shoulder to shoulder with those seeking radical reform in Wilmington shifting more minority children under the watch of failed white suburban leadership you better take a long long long look in the mirror! You are enabling the capitalist to $$ feed off your children. You have an independent voice and “you” must use it!
A day will come new young civil rights leaders will emerge and there will be hell to pay!
Those who are praising Jack Markell as if he is some kind of civil rights white knight are on the wrong side of history. If Markell cared about equality he would have eliminated the charter school specific interest and replaced it with a transparent lottery where all have equal chance of admissions. Charter schools aren’t the problem but rather the charter school law that allows such discrimination. Many who seeded the charter school law openly and quietly oppose desegregation. Charter school are a good option. However, charter schools must allow equal access to all children without barriers!