Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dirk Tillotson ― Why do I and other black families support charter schools?

(Citizen Ed)

Most Black families support charter schools, not because they are duped or privatizers, but because many see their neighborhood schools, and know their children need better options.  I know, because I saw it first hand in West Oakland, struggling to get my brother the education he deserved, in a system that didn’t treat him with concern or respect.

I never intended to be the charter guy, it just happened.  It all started when I went to my brother “johnny’s” school in West Oakland.

When schools disrespect you

“The teacher made fun of my mama” my little brother said, restraining his sobs.
I would help Johnny with his homework if I was around, but I was in law school and out a lot.  If his mom couldn’t help him, I told him to just tell the teacher he couldn’t do the homework and needed help.

That’s what he did.  The teacher then mocked him in front of the class, “Johnny’s mom doesn’t know how to do long division.” Chuckles and ridicule, he is humiliated, and she insulted his mom.
I wrote a nice letter…It’s not his fault…maybe we can meet and talk about a schedule to support his homework or what resources there are…very nice.

Next day in class, the teacher starts in again, “Oh I better not say anything to Johnny or he will get his big brother after me.”  Another frustrated call from Johnny.

I write another letter… it’s not right to embarrass him…more formal…and asking for a meeting.
We meet, there are 4 or 5 folks there.  I don’t know what they expected.  The teacher addresses me in a condescending tone, “those were very big words in the letter you wrote.”
I think they were trying to say I didn’t write it or understand it, because some brother from West Oakland couldn’t write it.  But who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of people.
“You learn big words at Berkeley Law School” I responded.

Long pause, and everything changes.

Read the full article HERE

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