THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
PUBLIC EDUCATION ON PARENTS’ DIME

We’ve created appalling inequities

June 20, 2010

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DERRICK Z. Jackson was right on when he pointed out that we have a “civil rights crisis’’ and that “the national emergency of education is worsening’’ (“Public education’s dire straits,’’ Op-ed, June 12). He writes, “National data say public schools have re-segregated on the fault lines of race and income. Data also say that reading scores and other standardized test scores merely follow the income levels.’’ He further points out that current per-pupil spending formulas between urban and suburban school districts are out of balance.

Well-intentioned as they may be, high-stakes testing and other flavor-of-the-month reform efforts do nothing to touch this inequity. Our current misguided efforts are a colossal waste of precious resources. Education reform, designed to close the achievement gap, has done just the opposite.

Where would we be today if we had taken all of the MCAS resources (time, attention, and dollars) of these past many years and poured them into the underserved schools, communities, and families? Where would we be in choking off the schools-to-prison pipeline? Our educational systems remain cruel, dysfunctional, and Kafkaesque.

Fifty-six years since the Brown v. Board of Education decision, surely we can do better than this. Where is the courageous and visionary leadership that will move us out of this appalling and heartbreaking mess?

Paula Parnagian,
Revere

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