Sunday, July 6, 2014

Words of Wisdom
By: Wilma de Soto 

It is glaringly apparent from the point of view of People of Color that racism plays an integral part of the School Reform Movement. I also understand that as apparent as this is to us, it not so for many whites.
• Public schools have been a means of opportunity for people of color to lift themselves from poverty. Now this avenue is being destroyed.
• The fact that teachers of color are being hardest hit is another hint. We are the people who understand what these children face in our society, are able to help them get around and cope with racism and persevere to achieve success, the way our teachers did for us. I myself am involved in such a witch hunt. I am good with these kids, but not worth the money to the reformers. A double blow.
• Remove us and there is no one there who can relate to what it is like to be Black in America and the slings and arrows and disrespect we must endure each day of our lives.
• Poverty, the great rallying cry has a great deal to do with denial of access to resources, opportunities etc. Most of that is based on the race of the people affected and therefore has its roots in institutional racism.
• For good or for ill the election of Baraka Obama to the Presidency is a personal affront to many White Americans, who cannot conceive of a Black Presidency. Opportunities that Obama and other successful Blacks that were obtained from good public education and programs to redress wrongs have gone too far in many opinions of Whites. Destroying public education is to ensure there will NEVER be another Black President.
• Finally, NOTHING new, innovative, forward-thinking and remarkable in education has EVER started first in the inner-city Black and Latino neighborhoods. NEVER! The best we could get was o wait ten or so years until Whites were done with it, or get a watered-down version LONG after White students had moved on to the latest thing.
• The fact all this school reform started in the inner-cities, which were languishing LONG before Brown, without any interest whatsoever by "benevolent philanthropists, should be a red flag to everyone that race is involved.


  1. There are some great points here. I'm particularly disturbed by the number of inner city schools being closed (NOLA) while students are sent to charter schools staffed largely by Teach for America. I agree that children of color need to see successful black and hispanic teachers living and working in their communities. They need positive adult role models who look like them so they can see that they have that same potential. Great post!

  2. This is happening in Memphis - the ASD is a system that is based on the RSD from New Orleans. Charters and TFA abound in Memphis. Last year, Shelby Co and Memphis City were merged. Unfortunately, many of the Memphis folks believe the rhetoric and think this truly is "choice" for their children. We are doing our best to educate them- but we have Chris Barbic- former TFA running the Achievement School District and he isn't going anywhere anytime soon.