To understand the impact of Brown, it is crucial to understand Milliken v. Bradley, which is far less well-known. Indeed, the latter decision has in many ways had an even more lasting impact on education.
Pushing towards graduation is a worthy pursuit -- an important and achievable goal. And graduating 80 percent of kids on time -- phenomenal. But with these 12th grade math and reading scores, it does raise the question: What is the quality of these graduates?
Corruption, natural disasters, wars, bad policies, and bad luck made it impossible for African governments to keep up with debt payments without cutting basic services to their people, who were already poor and getting few services in the first place.
Instead of looking in the mirror, our politicians blame the schools. They say that we lost those jobs because our schools were preparing students poorly, not because the "job creators" wanted to export jobs to countries that pay their workers a few dollars a day.
It's a disheartening and messy time in Philadelphia's school system. Some days I wake up and wonder if things will ever get better -- will we ever be able to look our children in the eyes and tell them that every school is equipped with the resources they need to get a quality education?
Ever since Beowulf, poetry has been critical to the development of the English language. We are now seeing a form of literary expression disappear without any discussion of whether it has a role to play in modern education.
There is something more explicitly elitist and anti-democratic in the new well-funded public-private partnership efforts to provide charter schools as a systemic alternative to remaining public schools.
The message is clear: the United States public demands the amelioration and perhaps an overhaul of the sexual education system. More importantly, students deserve to receive accurate and objective information.
Your profession has been vilified, scapegoated, mined for profit, and deprofessionalized. On behalf of graduates of public schools, parents of children in public schools, those who value public education and teachers unions, we apologize.
For the past decade or more, a bevy of very powerful people have savaged our nation's public schools while calling themselves "reformers." It is perfectly clear that they have no desire to "reform" our public schools but to privatize and monetize them.
They can purchase publicity. They can offer talking points. But they cannot back their diehard delivery with evidence that the Common Core does anything other than divest American public education of its democratically-protected autonomy.
In writing the state budget, New York legislators totally capitulated to the billionaire-funded charter industry. The bottom line is that when billionaires talk, the New York legislature and Governor Cuomo listen. Actually, they sit up, bark, and roll over.
Across the nation, parents and educators are raising objections to the Common Core standards, and many states are reconsidering whether to abandon them and the federally-funded tests that accompany them.