Charter vs Public Schools


Charter vs Public Schools: Which is Better for Black Students?

This is the fourth portion within the topic of the Role of Education.  This discussion looks at whether charter or public schools are better for the Black students to thrive and succeed in education and how that decision impacts the Black Community.

The 3 Questions

1. Do you believe school choice is necessary for Black people, why or why not?

2. Have public school systems failed the Black Community, why or why not?

3. If money was equally distributed to every school no matter where the students lived, would that help or hurt the education system?

FRONT STREET

There are many people who believe education was best for Black students prior to integration.  Although this is literally another topic within the Black Advancement’s focus, it begs the question of why some would feel that even under the oppressive conditions of segregation, our children were better served.  Why would they believe this, simply, is because they believed the teachers, parents, and community were all invested in the school system and the success of all the students.  Believe it or not, this argument is very similar to the charter or public school debate, specifically concerning Black students.  With the education achievement gap seeming to never close and the proven systematic biases against Black students in public schools, many more are looking to other options to educate their children.  In spite of all of those facts, there is a legit argument for having a public school option, primarily that it’s free and provides for a wide range of educational levels.  With all things considered, do you believe that charter and or public schools are contributing to the destruction of the Black Community?

Please write in and response to our 3 poll questions or post some questions that you would like to see asked.  These question and more were addressed on MONTH/DAY/YEAR during the discussion which is now airing on YouTube.

8 thoughts on “Charter vs Public Schools”

  1. 1. Do you believe school choice is necessary for Black people, why or why not?
    Yes I do, Public schools in the black and brown community is not given the same consideration for supplies, resources, equipment as other schools. Charter school curriculum as well and resources give children a better education and a better chance of leveling the playing field when our children graduate and enter the job market.

    2. Have public schools failed the black community? In my opinion yes they have. Educators feel under paid and over worked and some bring that issue to the class room. Some feel you get what you paid for. Public schools are not being held accountable for what they teach. Therefore they teach inaccurate history or personal beliefs, not facts and the truth. Schools should be monitored public and chartered.
    3. If money was equally distributed to the schools regardless of where the students lived would this help the situation? Yes and no, yes it would help as far as better resources, access to better tools, computers, equipment, and books for learning, updated books instead of books used by students countless years in the past. Teachers should still be held accountable as to what they teach, teach true history not your truth and your personal beliefs. Teach about all history black, brown history as well as american history but the truth not fantasy island history like Columbus discovering America. Tell how the europeans give small pox and alcohol to the natives to kill them and steal their land, tell how slavery really started, tell and teach how African Americans contributed to the world with inventions and discoveries like the invention of Automatic Elevator Doors, Improved the ironing board,
    Refrigerated Trucks. Three Signal lights,
    Central Heating Furnace, the Mailbox, and many more. Teach black pride so our children can learn about all the contributions we made and can be proud. Let them know about more than just slavery cause we didn’t come here by choice but were here so our children need to choose to be proud of who we became. Teachers curriculum should be reviewed before they are allowed to introduce it to our children. We should have unannounced periodic visits to the classrooms to see what is being taught. Teachers are people too and some don’t have our children’s best interest in mind.

  2. 1. Do you believe school choice is necessary for Black people, why or why not? I like having the choice because the school in question may have things available that the other does not. I do not believe that a school by being a charter school is a better school. I believe the charter schools receive better funding and hence have more potential to be better schools but that is still no guarantee. Even at charter schools, to be black is an added challenge just as it is in any other walk of life.

    2. Have public school systems failed the Black Community, why or why not? I think parents in the black community have allowed the schools to fail us. We represent the tax base and purchasing power base to demand respect in the marketplace but instead we accept disrespect and still function in a crabs in barrel mentality not allowing us to form up and show our true strength as a people. The public schools have the same rules and expectations in my state, VA, same testing, the only difference is resources and acceptance. We may not have the strongest tax base and that may mean we won’t get all the cool toys like specialty science labs and trips but it doesn’t mean we can’t have quality standard education for all. Also, I believe blacks are missing out on the education of what to do with their money. Coming from a poor family you spend the brunt of your life trying to figure out how to keep the money and what credit is and means as well as what it means to get caught up in the system and how difficult it is to get out. There are tons of things that don’t cost much to teach which is why parent accountability comes in, it’s not just where you teach but what.

    3. If money was equally distributed to every school no matter where the students lived, would that help or hurt the education system? Help. Right now those in more affluent areas receive a better education due to the local tax base and if that was evened out I would’ve spect quality to even out. But understand that making the quality more even is a double edged sword, pulling up the failing school systems while likely pulling down those exceeding the standards. While it is likely to have that double edged effect, it’s still more beneficial because making more money than average doesn’t always translate into a better life but making the average when you’re used to getting less always seems to be beneficial, the old rising tides lift all ships. There’s a reason no one says raise one boat and watch the rest sink.

  3. 1. Do you believe school choice is necessary for Black people, why or why not?
    I do believe school choice is a necessity for Black people because any responsible parent should have a right to want their children to attend a school they feel comfortable in sending them to worry free. If a parent can reasonably justify a particular school district as not fit then they should be given a right to have their kids attend another school whether it be a charter school or one in a better school district.

    2. Have public school systems failed the Black Community, why or why not?
    I have to answer this by saying yes and no because in certain school districts nationwide we know there’s discrimination against Black people specifically especially in the classrooms. In my opinion, I think it happens more to Black students that aren’t making the schools rich by using them for sports. I digress, that’s another conversation for another time. However in the areas where there is a majority of Black people in positions of power to make decisions whether on school boards and local government we have to take self accountability as to why we allowed for us to fail so miserably in the classroom. We have to ask why have we not focused more, as a majority, to allow our kids to excel in Math, reading above grade level, and communication skills.

    3. If money was equally distributed to every school no matter where the students lived, would that help or hurt the education system?
    I think it would help the educational system simply because even distribution of funds based on the number of kids within a district is the equitable thing to do in any case. How effective those funds within that district is used to help kids become better educated is where the question lies. This job does not only fall on those in charge of fund distribution but the ones that vote to put the people in place such as the local community; teachers, parents alike.

  4. 1. Do you believe school choice is necessary for Black people, why or why not?

    Yes. The “one size fits all” approach to education doesn’t work. I don’t know all of the politics behind “School Choice,” but when we lived in California where Charter Schools are popular, we found that many black parents went that route for their kids and were happy to have different options.

    2. Have public school systems failed the Black Community, why or why not?

    Yes, but this is a complex issue. There are so many things that need to align in order for a child to receive a proper education (healthy / safe / loving home environment, attentive parents, good nutrition, etc) – these things are often lacking in underperforming communities. Also, I believe many of us rely too heavily on school to teach our children. Other cultures (particularly Asian) don’t do this. We are our children’s primary teachers and folks need to just accept this reality.

    3. If money was equally distributed to every school no matter where the students lived, would that help or hurt the education system?

    That may help and would certainly make people feel like the system was more equitable. I still believe that if the fundamentals within our community are not addressed and improved, no amount of funding will help our children succeed in the public school system. Communities with higher parental involvement tend to outperform those with low parental involvement.

  5. 1. No, I don’t believe school choice is necessary because as we’ve seen throughout american history, white people will pull their children, resources, and funding out of any school that becomes too diverse.

    2. Public schools have absolutely failed black children primarily because local government has. Local governments allow two schools in the same county with the same number of students provide different levels of education. States/Commonwealths are also to blame. There needs to be a better effort at equally distributing educational resources and funding across all counties. Public schools also need to do a better job at hiring minority teachers and admin. It’s difficult to relate to a black or brown child when you’ve never had to walk in their shoes or that of their parents.

    3. I believe that equally distributing money would be a good first start. However, after distributing funds finding the right curriculum focused on STEAM and the arts are critical. Having buildings and learning materials that aren’t decades old or falling apart will go a long way to motive students. Most kids will invest in themselves if they feel others are invested in them.

  6. Couple of points about the topic. Education in the Black Community always been a controversial topic, when it pertains to the quality of said education. First of all, I must state that I am a product of the District of Columbia Public school system of the late 196O’s thru to 1982. The public schools in D.C. were some of the best and and most forward thinking schooling systems in the country. Which is a far cry from what it had become today.

    As a young child, I was introduced to our African Culture during my kindergarten and formative education in elementary school. During my high school years, I was able to take classes in African American Studies…I was somewhat of a self proclaimed activist…from my years of reading the works Maclom X, Kwame Ture, Baldwin, and others. In 10th grade my teacher took a leave of absence to go and participate in the protest in Geensboro North Carolina in 1979. ..when Nazis, Klansmen killed 5 people in What became to be known as the Greensboro Masacare.

    I say all of this to say this. When properly funded and staffed with the best teachers available, the public education system can be one of the best for educating our children. If you don’t believe me, just look no further then the white schools in your neighborhood and school district.

    However, our schools….and I mean Black Schools…have fallen victim to the Charter School mafia, which has only served to divide us more as a community, and hinder the educational growth of our children. This sort of pseudo “pay for education” lottery manifested system is not sustainable and will lead to the ruin of our children..educationally. We are falling victim to a system wherein only the well financed and connected amongst us will prosper. That in of itself is unacceptable.

  7. 1. Do you believe school choice is necessary for Black people, why or why not?
    School choice is essential because not every school can meet the needs of every student. Many try the cookie-cutter approach and fail miserably because not every curriculum or routine will work for everyone. Students need to be where they can thrive.

    2. Have public school systems failed the Black Community, why or why not?
    Public schools system have often failed to help Black children see themselves as anything but slaves or thugs. The textbooks leave a tremendous gap regarding the contributions of our people. The erroneous history needs to be updated for accuracy instead of reflecting a whitewashed version that glorifies the majority and villifies the minority. In addition, our children have been enabled to fail because of the perpetuated victim mentality. We have too many educators excusing poor behavior because of the students’ circumstances instead of holding them to attainable standards. There are also too many educators either trying to be a buddy iinstead of a caring teacher and those too scared to do anything but let the students control everything leading to total chaos in the classroom.

    3. If money was equally distributed to every school no matter where the students lived, would that help or hurt the education system?
    If funds were distributed equitably, THAT would help. Some schools need more than others. Having worked in very challenging schools, I realize that we needed more funds dedicated to safety and security. No, I don’t believe we needed a prison, but we needed more active, knowledgeable adults in the building. We also needed books of interest to the given population instead of the typical list dedicated to “dead white men.” Finally we needed staff specifically trained to meet the needs of the particular population.

  8. 1. Do you believe school choice is necessary for Black people, why or why not?

    We believe people who are zoned to failing school districts should have school choice. We believe this because it allows families that prioritize education, but do not have the means for their children to attend a private school, to still have a chance to provide a higher quality education for their children.

    2. Have public school systems failed the Black Community, why or why not?

    No, we do not believe public schools have failed the Black Community. Public schools rely on the public for much more than tax dollars. By that we mean parent involvement, enrichment activities from community partners, safe neighborhoods from neighbors that have a vested and serious interest in the quality and strength of their community, etc. Given that public schools have responsibilities beyond just the academic education of students, they usually will not be successful without these other community partners involved.

    3. If money was equally distributed to every school no matter where the students lived, would that help or hurt the education system?

    Assuming this question is asking if giving the same amount of funding per child (not including funds from the PTA or revenue generated by the school from other programs) would help or hurt the education system, we believe it would help….it’s a start. Money does not solve problems in and of itself, nor does it replace active and appropriate parenting. 

    As I mentioned, we send our children to private school because:

    1. It offered foreign language immersion

    2. It has a robust arts program that many public schools had to cut or severely limit due to lack of funding

    3. It had a clear and consistent pipeline for development since it goes from PK-3 through 12th grade.

    4. It offered smaller class sizes, which we felt better met the needs of our children.

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