I had the pleasure of attending School Choice is the Black Choice town hall hosted by Roland Martin and The 74 on Sunday, December 1. It always feels good to see so many people, especially people of color, interested in improving education for our poor and minority students.
My children’s K-12 years, thankfully, have been during the choice era. Although I am a choice parent, I still believe in strong traditional public schools for black students.
During the town hall, I noticed that every time questions about failing schools were mentioned, creating safe spaces followed soon after. It was also noted that many “good” schools fail black children too. As a parent, I do believe in creating safe spaces and making children and families of a school community feel important. Anyone who knows me well, knows I LOVE my children’s school community. I also understand that providing a quality education runs parallel to that.
Although safety and a welcoming environment is important, that alone is not enough. Our black children still need to be able to be proficient in math and reading. Parents want hear what is being done to remediate the black children who are lagging behind. How are our local schools planning to break the cycle of failure in our urban communities? We want to know in what ways our schools are going to provide a quality education to black students despite their socioeconomic status.
Sadly, on Sunday, once again we heard about the socio-economics of the children who are not being provided a quality education without a clear plan on how to provide them a quality education. This is unacceptable. These children deserve the best so they can become productive members of society once they complete their K-12 education. Roland Martin has challenged our community to stop avoiding the hard topics of failure and work together as a community to build strong quality school options for our black children in Indianapolis. Time will tell if we will heed his words.