As a Black man, who works hard to support Black children and families, there are a lot of choke on your own vomit moments watching the public school wars. Neither public school sector serves Black kids well consistently, not the districts and not charters. We need to acknowledge that and own that truth.
But there tends to be this group of people who show up at public forums, you know them. Lots of time and big words, philanthrocapitalism, privatizationalizers, neo-liberalbillionairization, etc. and sometimes they get on a high horse about “segregation” or the plight of Black children.
But only when it comes to charter schools.
Meanwhile, the most segregated schools and programs in almost every district is a district school or program—check the top tracks at Tech, or climb up the Hills to Hillcrest. Charter schools have lotteries, some give neighborhood preferences—all that do are in the Flatlands—you go North and the average house is over $1.5 million and only those neighborhood kids get into the schools, the neighborhood preference excludes low income, Black and Brown folks.
Those are the district’s rules—and none of these folks are complaining.
I shouldn’t have to school these people on segregated housing and its ties to neighborhood catchment areas. They got the big words, and have studied and will tell you how deeply they care about “equity” and the segregated charters and how Black children are underserved there.
Not a word about the district, where the majority of kids go. Not a word about neighborhood attendance zones that are specters of redlining maps, with opportunity still apportioned by zip code, race and wealth. Not a word about the top tracks at Tech where you struggle to put two Black kids together, and not a word about the White Flight from the public schools at middle and high schools in the Hills.
But they are really worried about charter schools and segregation. They likely have never done anything in their life to actually provide opportunities for Black kids and families or end “colonial day” at the schools they probably taught at, or interrupt institutional racism, or even address that fact that 14% of Black kids can read at grade level in OUSD elementary schools. They probably never even think or talk about the plight of Black families unless it is weaponized for a political end.
Yeah they are really worried about “segregated” charters.
Actually most of them seem totally fine with segregation, at least by their actions, so please let’s just be honest and quit parading your professed but never acted upon concern for Black kids, and call a proverbial spade a spade.
Just save that ish, or if you actually care, then do something positive. But if the only time you find yourself standing up for Black children is when you are trying to shut down options for Black families, please just sit the F down and shut the F up.