I remember, Diane, in 1967 telling kindergarteners in Harlem about the struggle for integration in southern schools. I stopped and looked at the faces of my 5-year-olds. Every single one was black. What did they make of what I was saying? What do they think today?


What concerns me most is the possibility that policymakers are promoting dual school systems: a privileged group of schools called charters that can select their students and exclude the ones that are hardest to educate; and the remaining schools composed of students who couldn't get into the charters or got kicked out. I wonder also whether it is wise in the long run to create one set of schools that is free from regulation and a competing set of schools that is subject to ever tighter regulation.


The manufactured school "crisis" we are living through may have much to learn from the "crime" and "drug" crisis that has built prisons instead of schools, torn fathers from children, and then blamed their mothers for not having husbands


Wall Street understands success and failure. When companies fail, investors bail out. As studies continue to show that charters on average don't get better test scores than public schools, will Wall Street continue to be bullish about charters? Will they support only the ones that skim and exclude? When will they cut their losses?


We have three very serious flaws to deal with. One is that the skill involved in doing well on reading and math tests do not constitute something worthy of the name "academic achievement." Such a claim dumbs down "academia" in ways that do serious damage.


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