The Public School Gap

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Fact-esque points the way to an excellent post by Riggsveda on the U.S. education system, the “No Child Left Behind Act,” and the second-hand treatment given to inner city schools:

…despite Bush’s much ballyhooed “Texas miracle”, the situation seems to have been exacerbated by the kind of apartheid not seen in this country since 1965.

Anyone who lives or works in a big city made up of a diverse racial population can see it. The city schools have become darker and darker, while the suburbs and private schools fill up with white children.

In spite of the lip service given to the advance of civil rights issues over the last decades, the demographics of our schools give the lie to our insistence that equal opportunity is a done deal. As a nation we have ignored how schools and neighborhoods have slipped back into the Jim Crow look of the early 20th century, and we pretend that the inequalities between them have no basis in race.

As I live and work on Chicago’s South Side, the second-hand status of urban schools is painfully clear. And many Chicagoans will tell you that the real guts of the NCLB is not the emphasis on testing, but the push towards privatization of the public school system. NCLB encourages districts to turn over underperforming schools to private management firms. And in 2004, Chicago’s Mayor Daley announced plans to do just that – to close 60 local schools and open 100 new smaller ones (two-thirds of which will be non-union teachers).

At the end of the day, NCLB is actually encouraging the dismantling of the public education system and the first out the door it seems are the students that politicians don’t really want to think about.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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