July 27, 2010 | Posted At: 02:30 PM | Author: john thompson | Category: John Thompson: A Teacher's POV
The "Civil Rights Framework" of the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
speaks a simple truth. Even if Secretary Duncan's market-oriented "reforms" succeed, many poor children will be left further behind. Competition that produces "winners," always produces "losers." Some Title I experiments will succeed as others fail, damaging real kids. The civil rights coalition recognizes the brutality of the choice being imposed on poor parents of color. Who would seek a better educational future for a daughter in a charter or a small school if it means that her brother is sentenced to an even more destructive neighborhood school? The Framework's humane alternative is to invest in high-quality preschool and to transform low-performing schools into "Community Opportunity Networks." The Campaign's web site links to an ecumenical pastoral letter, "An Alternative Vision of Public Education
," that illustrates inevitable outcome of competition-driven reform. Students in neighborhood schools are now called “over the counter” children.