The story of the African American mother who was convicted for enrolling her children in an out of district school in Ohio could very well be an African American mother right here in the great state of Alabama and Huntsville City Schools in particular. It exemplifies the desperate measures and risks African American parents face in their quest to provide a quality public education for their children.
Contrary to the misconceptions and media driven stereotypes, African American taxpayers value education and want the same educational opportunity for their children as white taxpayers. Maybe it stems back to the days of slavery when it was illegal for blacks to learn to read and write, but there seems to be a concerted effort to this day to keep blacks from being educated.
Fifty years after Brown v. Board declared separate but equal schools unconstitutional Huntsville City Schools are segregated according to race in spite of a federal court order to desegregate.
Back in the day, Huntsville City Schools quietly and successfully integrated. There were no stands in the school house door. No angry mobs. No federal troops.
Back in the day ALL of the Huntsville City Schools were excellent schools. There were no identifiably black and white schools. All the teachers taught all the students, and all the students learned. Back in the day it didn't matter where a student lived because the quality of the school in the neighborhood wasn't tied to property values. Fast forward to the present and the reverse is true.
As long as the quality of public education in Huntsville is based on parental income and property values there is no hope for the Huntsville City Schools.
As long as those in positions of power believe it’s a silly, unrealistic, line that every school should be as good as Grissom, there is no hope for Huntsville City Schools.
As long as those in positions of power believe them uppity coloreds and sneaky Mexicans would receive an education only white, god-fearing, clean, and law-abiding children deserve, there is no hope for the Huntsville City Schools.
As long as black parents aren't politically involved to the same extent as white parents there is no hope for the Huntsville City Schools.
I don't care how many Superintendents, clueless consultants and school boards are hired and fired, there is no hope for the Huntsville City Schools as long as people with racist beliefs have the power to exercise racism.
One would think a school system whose motto is Education is the Hope of the Republic would make an effort to educate ALL students regardless of race, gender, sex or address.
President Obama said he intends to replace the Bush era Leave no Child Behind education initiative with the Race to the Top initiative which IMHO is a back door push for Charter Schools. If ALL children don't have equal access to a quality public school a whole lot of children will be left behind in the race to the top.
There is no HOPE for the future of the republic until ALL children have equal access to a quality public education.