Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Doorway For The Education of Poor Black Children Is Closed

One of Anne Arundel County's two public charter schools is shutting down because it has been unable to find a new location to house its growing program.

"In other communities, we're seeing people clamoring for KIPP, but here, we looked at several locations, and some made it clear we're not welcome," said Steve Mancini, a KIPP spokesman.

There are some things that I just don't understand about our people when the harsh intersection between our stated goals (ie: education) and public policy preferences come to bear. This is one of those cases.

KIPP Academic has a history of going into the worst of the worst areas, where the government operated public schools have failed to provide adequate educational services for Black and mostly English As A Second Language Hispanic students. Since they are charter schools they depend on the incumbent public school system to provide them with funding. KIPP provides structure, sets expectations of the students, parents and children. As a result they are able to achieve results that are so frequently not attained by the government operated schools.

One would think that the Black community and the Black politicians that often govern these areas would welcome KIPP with open arms. One would assume that they promote "children's education" above principalities. If you have made this assumption you would be quite incorrect. It seems that some people have been used to that clarion call of "We need more money to educate our children - this is why they are failing". When a program such as KIPP comes along and offers to dispel this long held belief these people seek to protect their incumbency over doing the right thing for the children.

It is hard for me to belief that upon the day when we are inches away from the city called "Promised Land" that some how those who are driving the vehicle upon fearing their employment as a driver will choose to drive past the exit and continue the road trip with full knowledge that most people riding on the bus aren't looking at of the window at the road signs.

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