March 13, 2008

They're for the children... or the adults. Well, which one is it, and where's the scorecard when you need one?

There's a deeper dynamic in urban school politics that reporters are missing, even the work of good beat professionals such as those who work for the St. Petersburg Times: When they talk about African American politicians who support vouchers, whether it's members of the Florida legislature, Barack Obama, or David Paterson, they often forget that in communities that are residentially segregated, in charter and private schools that serve primarily African American student populations, the proprietors of and teachers will themselves be more likely to be African American than other private-school educators... or public-school educators. So the perceived interests of adults and children are once again blurred, though no one aware of education history should be surprised that opportunities for and perspectives of African American educators are part of the issue. I also wonder how many who have started charter schools or voucher schools in Florida are African American teachers who retired from public schools. Oh, the headache: will someone come and tell me once and for all who is For The Children?

Teasing of DFER's resident blogger aside, I suspect I'm not the first one to think about this connection (and if a commenter points to a relevant article, I'll update this with a link). But it's one more point against the more simplistic efforts to tally up who's on which side in the adults v. kids wrestling match, when you're not sure who's what's side's hidden side.

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Posted in Education policy on March 13, 2008 10:57 PM |