The Continuing Fight for the Soul of the NAACP

The NAACP was born from a marriage of convenience that has never been reconciled. White liberals and Black liberationists, like W.E.B. Du Bois, had very different visions of the role of the organization and its tactics. Those schisms are still playing out today in efforts like the misguided charter school resolution released this week. But … Continue reading The Continuing Fight for the Soul of the NAACP


Bad Lessons at Albany High; The Difference Between Free Speech and Being a Jackhole

White, privileged and oblivious, a group of families whose children were punished for association with racist Instagram posts are suing the district for violating their First Amendment rights. It sounds like something out of the Onion: “Racists sue, claiming intolerance of their intolerance.” You can’t make this crap up. But it’s not funny really. From the East … Continue reading Bad Lessons at Albany High; The Difference Between Free Speech and Being a Jackhole


The Spook Who Sat by the Charter School Door

I am the fly in the school reform buttermilk. An outsider, now marginally on the inside, trying to plot the revolution.  Young, gifted and Black, I founded a charter school support organization in Oakland at the dawn of the movement in the ’90s, followed Katrina into New Orleans to help resuscitate the (charter) schools, and … Continue reading The Spook Who Sat by the Charter School Door


Oakland Charter-run and District-run schools by the Numbers

Thank you OUSD for throwing some hard numbers into the charter school debates.  While I missed 2/22/16 Board engagement session (I was in NYC), I did look at the materials. Big takeaways; students at charter-run schools tend to perform somewhat better on state tests and be more economically disadvantaged.  While district-run schools had somewhat greater … Continue reading Oakland Charter-run and District-run schools by the Numbers


Education Reform’s “Other People’s Children” Problem

We have a serious “Other People’s Children” problem in education reform. Many if not most of the spokespeople and decision makers, really don’t represent or often understand the communities they are “reforming.” This has a distorting effect on the reforms and also gives folks the often real impression that reforms are being done to them rather than … Continue reading Education Reform’s “Other People’s Children” Problem