Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Sort of Arrogance Black People Encounter...

....when white folks start schools in their neighborhoods with their values and try to dictate how black people should live...and these same white missionaries try to turn the tables and accuse their critics of being arrogant or racist.
UPDATE: Make sure to check out more on paternalistic white "saviors" of poor black kids:
"KIPP Schools-Brainwashing the Disenfranchised"
Written by A Voice in the Wilderness on April 20, 2008
Posted at The Chancellor's New Clothes.

What does it take to reach an inner city child? Teach them to nod on cue.

Are Joel Klein and Michael Bloomberg, who have dictated to people in Harlem and other places how their schools should be run, also black? They have allowed so much parent input in Harlem.

Did I make a mistake. Is Eve Moskowitz black? Did the African-American parents get to choose her as the leader of the school? Or is she self-chosen?

I have an idea for Eva Moskowitz and her supporters.

Let's have an election. Let the 3600 black parents who turned out for the Harlem Success Schools elect a board of directors and turn the schools over to them to run. Think they'll choose Eva?

That's called community control, as opposed to mayoral control ... where people do get to do the dictating on how they want to live.


Anonymous said...

Bloomberg, Klein, and Moskowitz want parents, regardless of race, to be able to choose their child's school. That's a lot more respectful to them than barricading them inside their zoned schools.

However, I do agree that Klein and Bloomberg haven't done enough. They need to create in NYC a public school district where every school is a choice school. Only then will parents really be listened to.

Anonymous said...

To answer your questions: No, Eva is not black, but yes, the parents did get to choose her as their child's principal. You see, the way charter schools work is that you don't have to enroll your child in them. You CHOOSE to. Therefore, if you want to choose a principal of a specific color, you can do so. If you want to choose a principal of a certain ideology or methodology, you can do so, as well.

Under your preferred system of compulsory relegation of poor people to horrible district schools, children and their parents get no choice whatsoever.

You talk about community boards and the like, but even that model wouldn't give parents specific agency in choosing their child's school. What if you are a minority in the community and you don't want to go to the school with the majority-chosen principal?

The only model that avoids the tyranny of the majority and respects the individual rights of parents and students is the school choice model. Right now, rich people have it, and poor people don't. That's the status quo with which you are so in love, and that's the paternalistic and (at best) inadvertently racist/classist system by which you will continue to subvert individual rights in favor of some misguided notion of collectivism.

Anonymous said...

Norm, you definitely struck a nerve here. I'm glad someone brings out these issues and discusses them thoroughly in a public forum. I'd like to do a little more research on this topic, but so far you sound on point.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jose, for I'm the one who brought this up in the comments section, and as such struck Norm's nerve enough for him to misinterpret what I said all the way out of the comments section and into the body of his blog.

ed notes online said...

"They need to create in NYC a public school district where every school is a choice school."

The very people claiming the parents in Harlen are making "decisions" won't turn the schools over to them.

Note the "they" are Bloomberg and Klein. Oh, and Kipp people also - -all white. Seems a bit paternalistic to me. With a system of community control with modifications from the old system, local communities would truly get to control their own schools and there would be no need for so-called charters. Or Kipp.

But people in Harlem will never get to control their own schools. What they will get is carpet baggers, mostly white, coming in for fun and profit - all under mayoral control - the very oppositite of

It is not a matter of creating charter schools. Why do BloomKlein have to do that since they control the schools alreay? The answer will always be anti-union, anti-teacher as the cause of all the failures.

So no matter what the system, as long as there are teacher contracts and unions, there will be a push to privatize and haev charters which can find ways around them.

The libertarian system of "free choice" and everyone gets to chose their own school in a competetive model is just a bill of goods. it doesn't oeprate in any of the suburban communities in this nation, probably 90% of the schools where whites get to choose a school board.

In other words, whites get one type of system while blacks get a system of "school choice" imposed by mostly white people who want to start schools - Kipp, Moskovitz, Ross, Bloomberg, Klein.

Which system is more paternalistic?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have been vocal in my complaining that aside from charter schools, Klein has done little to further school choice. I think it's a great failing of his administration.

Anonymous said...

Norm, you put it quite well; it is incredibly paternalistic. What offended me even further were the oped articles that I read in the NY Times in which the writers commented on the topic of "what minority children need" from their ivory tower as if the people involved were mere equations to them.

Anonymous said...

How is it more paternalistic to say that parents should have a choice than it is to conscript them to a school? Maybe our definitions are unclear: paternalism is when you think you're smarter than someone so you make the choice for them. That describes the status quo, non-choice system you guys are enamored with perfectly.