Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Edushyster: Let Them Eat Charters - or - Will Massachusetts reduce its public school system to crumbs?

I love eating crumbs from the wisdom of the Shyster. Top Mass. law firms are suddenly concerned over civil rights and are suing to lift the Mass. charter cap -- THE civil rights issue of our time. Edushyster dives into the case. A few delicious and crumby excerpts:

Old bucks 4 new schools No doubt you have many questions about the pro bono-ists’ civil-rights-based challenge to the state’s cap on the number of charter schools. Such as *from whence does the expression white shoe law firm come?* As always, I am happy to shed light. You see the phrase derives from *white bucks,* laced suede or buckskin shoes with a red sole, long popular in the sorts of Ivy League colleges that our pro bono-ists no doubt attended. What? You want to know how it is that civil rights can be used to argue for more charter schools, when, according to a growing body of case law, students in charter schools don’t actually have civil rights? Or how, in the course of four decades, *civil rights* could go from a fierce battle over desegregating schools and diversifying the teaching force to the fresh new right of students to attend more segregated schools and be taught by young, mostly white teachers? Or why our pro bono-ists seem so charmingly ill-informed, not just about the state’s charter schools, but about all of the schools that are publicly attended? All mere trifles, reader.

...droves of students from across the city testify about the appalling conditions of their schools. Like expired milk in the cafeteria, four students sharing a single text book, bathrooms that don’t work, computer labs that still run Windows 98, and 400 students sharing a single guidance councilor. The most powerful testimony came from students who talked about the *plague of failing* in the Boston schools, and described the deterioriation of their own schools after being relocated into *failing* spaces. *Why are schools in Newton so much nicer than our schools?* asked a parent who testified, quoting a question put to them by her own child. 

Good question, Boston Public Schools student. 

In fact, if I’m not mistaken, you have just asked what we might call a *civil rights* question. 

Anyone know where these kids can find a lawyer—or three?

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