Racism and Public Education

“I don’t get it”, you say to me. “Why do you keep harping on education, and insist on saying that there’s racism involved? Aren’t you just imagining things? Isn’t it a class issue that has nothing to do with race? Aren’t charter schools a good thing?”

No, charter schools are NOT a good thing. And yes, our education system in the US has EVERYTHING to do with racism.

But there are folks who can say it better than I can, so here’s this. Pay particular attention  to the fifth paragraph.

And while you’re there, check out this blogger’s take on KIPP schools.


to my most recent post . . .

In reading about this program, I found stories of students being kicked out of the school for their hair being too long, and of misbehaving children being forced to wear a sign all day that said, “miscreant” . . .  one thing that chills me about this is that it just seems eerily reminiscent of Native American boarding schools, where they sought to “kill the Indian, save the man”

 more chilling . . . administrators referring to the need for its students to be “Kipp-notized“. How cult-like can you get?

If you hadn’t already figured this out, I am really not in favor of charter schools. I just don’t understand why we’re not spending our time and energy to do better by our public school children . . .

 One more quote about the KIPP school phenomenon . . . this article points out that a foundation run by the heirs of Sam Walton (founder of Wal-mart) has been providing a great deal of grant money to some of the KIPP schools. Read on:

 KIPP emphasizes rote learning, blind obedience, and repetition of meaningless cheers. At Wal-Mart, employees are taught company cheers to feel good about working low-wage, dead-end jobs. When you combine this with the fact that KIPP schools are disproportionately located in–and specifically target–low-income children of color, it becomes clear that the role of educational institutions such as KIPP is to educate the next generation of obedient Wal-Mart workers.

 A major clue emerges when we compare the KIPP educational model with Wal-Mart’s cult-like work culture. By stamping all creative and critical thinking out of young people and teaching them to blindly follow orders, KIPP schools turn out the ideal Wal-Mart worker. In an article for The Nation, Liza Featherstone recounted her visit to a KIPP school in New York, where she watched second graders chant slogans they had memorized. The principal told her proudly: “We are getting them ready for business.”

want more? read this.