Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Kozol's Call to Action - teach-ins leading up to BROWN case anniv. May 17, 2006?
Kozol's Call to Action? -
Oakland activist calls for teach-ins -
Harold Berlak, a senior research fellow with the Applied Research Center in Oakland, was on KPFA radio [94.1FM] this morning [9/27/05] for their drive time public affairs program. Berlak is also a fellow at the Educational Policy Unit, Arizona State University .
Like Jonathon Kozol, Berlak lamented the harm to schools caused by Bush's NCLB [No Child Left Behind] and the resegregation in urban school districts like SF, Oakland, LA, Richmond, etc.
When KPFA host Andrea Lewis asked him what his solution was, Berlak called for a social movement of parents, teachers and community people to stand up to the high stakes testing regime and the big business driven 'standards movement'. He said we need 'teach-ins' to help inform and involve regular parents, teachers, students and community members about the federal and state laws and policies which are pushing working class and kids of color further and further behind.
I have been talking with Berlak and others about coordinating a series of 'teach-ins' on educational inequality and conditions beginning in the Spring and building up to the anniversary of the BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION case this coming May 17, 2006? Oakland communities held a teach-in and various rallies and demonstrations on the anniversary this past year.
Many progressive teachers, parents and community members will be gathering Sat, October 15th, 2005 at Mission HS in SF for the annual Teachers for Social Justice Conference -
http://t4sj.org/. We hope to pick up on Kozol and Berlak's 'call to action' at that time as well.
Check back here or email me if you have any suggestions or want to help us -
KOZOL ON THE NEED FOR A NEW SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT - AND FOR FOLKS TO 'FIGHT LIKE HELL' TO CHANGE THE SCHOOL SYSTEM
Writer Laments ‘Apartheid’ Schooling
By John Gehring
Q: What is the most effective way to begin challenging the status quo of segregated schools in our nation's largest cities?
A: The only way that this will ever change is by the mobilization of millions of ethical Americans, whatever their political positions. The young idealists who I meet at colleges don't want to do something sweet like mentor an inner-city student. That's fine, but charity is not a substitute for systematic justice, and they know it. I want to see an upheaval of decent young people who have the courage to call reality by its real name, and then go out and fight like hell to change it.
KOZOL ON THE NEED TO OVERHAUL THE SCHOOL FINANCE SYSTEM
Q: You write that the funding of education should be a federal, not a state or local, responsibility. Why would this be a better approach?
A: The present system of school finance is a hopeless mess and utterly inequitable. It depends on local property wealth, which makes it impossible to have a meritocracy. Even the state formulas that allegedly equalize funding never work. It's archaic and not in our national interest to leave the educational well-being of American citizens up to the whim or wealth of the village elders in some impoverished or wealthy town. We should scrap the entire system of school finance. All money for education in a democracy ought to come from the federal government. That's the only fair way to do it because districts and states are unequal. Kids don't go to school to be citizens of Oklahoma or Arkansas. They go to school to be Americans.