Education as a Civil Right, Limits of School ‘Choice’

Denisha Jones, Howard University professor and activist, and Brian Jones (no relation), education advocate and author, discuss education as a civil right and the limits of “choice” in education on the September 5 edition of The Education Town Hall. (Full recording):

We wanted equal schools…schools today are more racially segregated or just as racially segregated as they were 50 years ago….What are the end goals of the movements — folks like Save Our Schools and CORE and some of the other groups — they see education as a public civil right, that every student should have at the public level. And the other movement, the corporate movement says we should insert business methods into education to make it more competitive. But when you have in competition, people are left behind. And are we going to acknowledge that education has become a zero-sum game? Or do we still want to believe that it is the great equalizer when truthfully this is not the case for all children?
— Denisha Jones, DC professor and activist

It’s important to understand that ‘choice’ is a very big concept with a lot of common-sense appeal that can sometimes mask who does the real choosing….wealthy people have always had a lot of choices… you’re saying to lower income people we’re going to give you choices….The problem is that the choices that you’re confronted are not of your own choosing.

[Certain choices — such as improving one’s local public school — are not allowed.] Even the language of federal policy does not allow that choice [improving the neighborhood school vs. closing it]. It…attempts to shape parents into free-market consumers of schools, not as citizens empowered to change, mold improve their public schools.”
— Brian Jones, NYC education advocate and author

In addition to her work at Howard, Denisha Jones is an administrator of BadAss Teachers Association and has previously appeared on the Education Town Hall. Brian Jones is a contributor to Education and Capitalism and narrator of “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman.”

The Education Town Hall is broadcast Thursdays at 11 a.m. (Eastern) on We Act Radio.

Listen on-line at We Act Radio

In the DC Metro Area: WPWC 1480 AM

Full recordings are archived for later discussion and sharing.

Join the (live) conversation by calling 202-889-9797.
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