In a recent article appearing in the Sacramento Bee, dated October 10, 2010, a proposal to remove black children from traditional integrated schools and place them in segregated charter schools has been suggested. This proposal has been made by a black person, Margaret Fortune, who has operated a similar school in Sacramento.
Ms. Fortune suggests that up to 5,000 black children, who are also considered low-income, and beginning with K thru 3rd graders, would benefit from receiving an education in a school set apart from their peers of the same age. To me, this is absurd as this nation has and continues to fight long and hard to diminish and extinguish the ugliness of segregation in all of its stigmatizing forms, in all systems of our society.
To consider returning to the dysfunctional method of segregation in our system of education is not only frightful but downright bizarre. Poor, black children already suffer from two strikes against them. To put them in a situation which sets them apart will not only affect their self-esteem, but may also cause them to suffer the pain of being stigmatized for not attending an integrated school with other children who are different from them.
A great part of one’s education, particularly as access to the global community is opening up to anyone who may chose to explore it, is to be socialized to understand, tolerate and accept the differences between us. How can that be accomplished when one begins their educational experience with only faces of one’s own kind? How can one perceive a different reflection of how the world is made up if one only sees one image, the same as oneself ?
I can understand the intent of providing a more intense educational experience for children, but the effort should be open to all children, not focused on any particular ethnic group. As for the children being low-income, there are low-income children in every ethnic group who need and require a quality education. For a black person to focus this attempt to obtain funding for charter schools by selling out black children is shameful.
If tax-payer money is used to fund charter schools, representative children from every group should be represented. Placing black children in segregated schools is a backward move and should not be considered as being in the best interest of those children.