Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stop pretending

The News & Observer recently ran a series of articles about education in North Carolina and here in Wake County. Many, including Gov. Cooper, state leaders, and even the president of the NC Association of Educators, claimed they were "surprised" and "appalled".

I'm not.

I could spend hours writing about the ways WCPSS has and continues to purposefully label and exclude low-income children from an appropriate education. Remember diversity busing?

The N&O won't publish my full response so here it is:

The series of articles by the N&O about the purposeful exclusion of low-income children from appropriately challenging classes should be causing outrage - from parents, from taxpayers, from political leaders, and from the WCPSS School Board and Supt. Merrill.

Just a few years ago, advocacy groups and people who claimed to care about education in Wake County protested to the point of being arrested because they didn't want the Wake County Public School System to stop busing these same low-income children out of their neighborhoods and into the suburbs. They claimed poor Raleigh children would receive a better education in a school that was "not as poor". Their cry in support of diversity busing was "It's what's at the end of the bus ride that matters". 

And, yet, now we see that the end of this bus ride doesn't matter at all - it's merely a long ride, back and forth, every day under the guise of a better education.

In reality, and as many of us have known for years, the same low-income children that many fought to keep on a bus are deliberately being withheld and excluded from a proper education, not getting a better one. 

So, if there is a time for disruption, protests, and arrests, now is that time.

Unfortunately, I'm convinced there will be no outrage. We will all merrily skip along and continue to pretend that busing the low-income children for diversity and enticing the rich, white families with magnet school entitlements is actually making a positive impact on education in Wake County. After all, we know know who really matters in our school system - and it's not the poor. 

And, if you didn't notice their comments in the article, the WCPSS School Board wants to address this issue with more money.