It’s the big story of the day and one that’s shocking the world. It has the potential to change the landscape of the nation and truly unite Americans. Oh, sorry, you folks thought I was going to talk about House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy dropping out of contention for the House Speaker position — nah.
I’m talking about something far more astonishing which will not get lots of media coverage.
As reported by the NY Post:
Thousands of fired-up charter school supporters descended on City Hall Wednesday demanding that Mayor de Blasio put an end to education inequality by expanding the number of charters.
The rally was sponsored by Families for Excellent Schools. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a potential Mayoral candidate in 2017, promised the crowd he would “always be a supporter of charter schools” and echoed demands that the mayor give parents more options for their kids.
“Mr. Mayor, what we’re saying here today is this: The public-schools system is your system. Charter schools are a part of that system, and all we want from you, Mr. Mayor, is to treat them equitably,” Diaz told the crowd, which marched en masse in a sea of red T-shirts over the Brooklyn Bridge from an earlier rally in Cadman Plaza.
Organizers estimated the size of the crowd at 18,500.
One parent after another took the microphone to tell how charters had saved their kids from failing neighborhood schools.
Natasha Shannon, 37, of Washington Heights, a stay-at-home mom whose girls all go to Success Academy schools, said the mayor would never send his own children to a failing public school.
Brooklyn parent Patrick Cabiness lambasted PS 67 in Fort Greene, where his 8-year-old son Jaylen is a third-grader.
“I have seen firsthand how the mayor is failing our public schools. At my son’s school, nine out of 10 kids do not read on grade level,” he fumed at the microphone.
“The mayor has promised by the year 2026, all second-graders will read on grade level. By the year 2026 my son will be 19 — he needs a good education now !”
Tracia Gill of Flatbush said her kids brave brutal commutes each day just to attend highly rated schools. Her son, Otage Miller, is a senior at the High School of Math, Science and Engineering at City College in Harlem, a specialized school, while her daughter, Jadah Gill, 12, is a seventh-grader at Achievement First Endeavor in Clinton Hill, a charter.
“My daughter gets up at 5:30 in the morning and takes three trains to get to school. My son has to go from Church Avenue to the last stop on the B train, and that’s an hour and a half each way. They should not have to get up at that time in the morning and travel that far to get to a great school,” she said.
This happened as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is being endorsed by the largest union in America, the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT). And we know those unions stand against any aspect of competition in the education system — school choice, school vouchers, charter schools, home schooling. Why? Because the goal is not to provide better educational opportunities, but rather keep kids — especially inner city kids — in failing public schools.
When New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, an avowed socialist, put charter schools squarely in his sights, buses of mothers — of whom were single black mothers — went to Albany to complain to New York Governor Cuomo. Imagine if this march were to be replicated all across the United States in Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas — imagine the message this would send.
This is not about “outreach” or pandering for votes; it is about a serious policy to ensure equality of opportunity to receive a good quality education.
The huge rally featured thousands of teachers, parents and kids, whose bright-red T-shirts read, “I Fight to End Inequality” — a pointed reference to the mayor’s own pledge to battle economic inequality.
Liberal progressive socialists like Bill DeBlasio constantly rant about “income inequality.” So what about the theme of this charter school rally — “End Education Inequality”? Does anyone believe Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will embrace the red-shirted children and parents seeking access to a better education? When will we hear a GOP presidential candidate march arm-in-arm with the “Red Shirts”?
I have a simple question, how is it that this rally was planned and executed and not a single GOP presidential candidate was there — not take the stage and grandstand, but walk? Walk with the kids and parents who are fighting for the restoration of the American dream: the opportunity society as opposed to the dependency society.
I know, the media cameras went to Capitol Hill because that was the story of the day. Actually, gotta ask, why was it that Kevin McCarthy’s dropping out meant a postponement of the House GOP vote for Speaker? After all, there were two other candidates running for the position — that’s the real story there.
However, this is the story that should be championed. The rally that must be repeated in every city is the march to End Education Inequality — support Charter Schools. And why is this so important to me? Because I was born and raised in the inner-city Atlanta Old Fourth Ward. My parents, Buck and Snooks West, made an education choice decision not to send me to the neighborhood public school — but rather, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School. My elementary school still stands there at the intersection of Boulevard Avenue and Auburn Avenue, across the street from Ebenezer Baptist Church. That educational foundation, based on my parents’ choice, enabled me to excel and play on the level playing field of equality of opportunity foundational to our nation.
If we’re to restore the American dream all across this great land, it MUST begin in our inner cities. There you’ll find the greatest evidence of the failure, lies and deceit of liberal progressive policies. You’ll find the breakdown of the family. You’ll find the lack of quality education. You’ll find a growing dearth of black small business entrepreneurship and ownership.
What you’ll find growing is the expansion of the dependency society and a sense of economic enslavement — as opposed to economic empowerment. It’s time we revisit the “urban economic empowerment” zones policy idea from the Reagan administration, developed by deceased Congressman Jack Kemp and Reagan’s economic advisor, Art Laffer.
But the most important aspect to urban revitalization is simple: “End Education Inequality.”
I sincerely hope the Families for Excellent Schools organize a rally here in Dallas. I will be there, and I’ll gladly travel for one in Atlanta. Funny thing, President Obama is heralded as a “community organizer” — why was he not there marching with this community? Why did Obama shun the kids, teachers and parents who want excellence in education opportunity?
Simple answer: because in April 2009, Obama cancelled the D.C. school voucher program and his attorney general, Eric Holder, brought a federal lawsuit against the State of Louisiana’s school voucher program. Of course, his daughters attend the esteemed and prestigious Sidwell Friends in D.C.. The mantra of progressive socialists is all about elitism and the hypocrisy of do as I say, not as I do. And that philosophy of governance sucks!