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27 September 2013



I can't help but say that this proliferation of Charter Schools is a bit frightening. I don't understand why if the Public School system is so bad, then take the money that would go to those Charter Schools, partner with the Corporations that support the Charter Schools and drag these poor performing Public Schools into the diamonds that they could be.

Yes, the parents and families must be brought up to par as well but in an economy where both parents are at work and perhaps one of those parents is working 2 jobs then its hard, very hard, next to impossible for the parents to monitor and assist with the children's school work, let alone monitor the children's behaviour. The schools and the teachers can't do it alone and I think the teachers of this nation are being demonized and bearing the total blame when "Johnny can't read."

Furthermore, I think its awfully strange that many of these Charter Schools pop up like dragon's teeth in gentrifying communities like Harlem. Sometimes I think the Charter Schools are an experiment. Getting the kinks out so that when the gentrifiers really take over they won't have to send their kids back downtown to school. Call me paranoid but thats how I see it.

My mom was a housewife when I was school aged and taught me the basics before I started kindergarten (She was a frustrated teacher) My dad was a cop. We made it on his one salary and she didn't go to work until I was 14 so I definitely was nobody's latch-key kid. But in today's economic scenario that would not be the case. She would have started work before I was born and he would probably be working as a security guard or bouncer at some club in addition to walking a beat like so many cops do.


Rod: Major props for your ongoing reporting on education, crime and other issues that are affecting all of our black youth.

Ilunga: "Sometimes I think the Charter Schools are an experiment. Getting the kinks out so that when the gentrifiers really take over they won't have to send their kids back downtown to school"

I think you are absolutely right. I have long suspected that myself and others have said so, too. It i also mentioned in the article.

"Hopkins and other education advocates have raised concerns that closed school buildings will be offered to charter operators. “But what if they don’t get the results they desire? They will pull out,” Hopkins told EBONY.com. “They are using our children as a test.”


I meant to say "It IS also mentioned" !!


Here in Harlem as some of the Catholic Schools close, the public schools move into that space. My old Catholic school which sits up in the Sugar Hill section of Harlem closed in '06 and is now occupied by a public school. So strange to see a public school with some stained glass windows and a Latin Cross on its roof. And get this, the school sits next door to the Church. Around the corner is my old Catholic High School which closed in '76 and is now occupied by a Charter School. Now, the public school that moved into my old Catholic school was originally a "failing school" and was closed for two years. Now it sits in my old Catholic school and their old building is ocupied by a Charter School.

The parents have got to be more pro-active advocates for public education. The whole lottery system and selective admissions process just makes me un-easy. But in communities in Harlem people are working in jobs where they are so overwhelmed & overworked they just don't have the energy to attend school meetings, PTA events, etc. Rush hour used to be 5PM now its extended to 8PM and I swear that people working average jobs are being overworked as a conspiracy. If they are too exhausted from working so hard, doing the work of two people, etc, then they will be too exhausted to complain. But I say that people have got to get that "second wind" and do something. People have got to realize when you elect your local politicians into office they work for you, i.e. "civil servant." Keep on them. Show up at their local offices and make them do their jobs.

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