Where do(did) your kids go to school?
For my mere support of Hillary Clinton, I have been called a racist, more times than I can count. One of the refuges I have found in this crazy blogosphere, has been Anglachel's Journal.
In her post today, she touches on a subject very close to me.
She asks of the "creative class", Where Do Your Kids Go To School?
She asks them, assuming since most of these are upper income people, they probably don't send their kids to public schools. Implying that, perhaps, they don't practice what they preach.
My daughter attends school in the Jefferson County Public School system, which was recently in the news, when the Supreme Court overturned our desegregation policy.
(I am sure this subject was hashed out many moons before I ever caught sight of the Mighty Corrente Building, but I would like to quickly recap.)
The plan, which was court mandated in the 70's and incited riots in my fair city, was ordered because the African American students were all being crammed into a few small underfunded schools in the city's West End(the historically AA part of our city). The reasoning was that if AA students were spread out all over the system, they would receive a better education, and the traditionally AA schools would get better funding, since white students would now be attending.
And it worked. The plan wasn't perfect, it required long bus rides for many students, but it had a strong foundation, the core of which, is that no school in the system could have an enrollment of AA students over 49%.
Eventually, after the mandate was lifted, the plan continued. Until one whiny (white) mother complained about the long time it would take her daughter to get to school. The battle was fought for years, and was finally decided by our uber-conservative Supreme Court.
I tell you this, to tell you about my school choice for my daughter. When I was researching daycares, I stumbled across this intriguing education concept called, Montessori. I never could afford to send her to a Montessori preschool, but when she began her public education, I was fortunate enough to have a couple of Montessori schools available to me.
I chose one as my first choice. It is a National Blue Ribbon school, 98% of its students go into Advanced Placement.
I knew none of this when I chose the school. This is what I did know. It sits in the middle of a public housing project, in the middle of the West End. Conforming to the school assignment plan, AA enrollment is exactly 49%, Latino enrollment is at 17%, and most of those are ESL students.
I chose this school, knowing my brunette blue eyed little girl was going to be the minority. I did this for several reasons, the desire to have her achieve a Montessori education, being chief among them. But there were several other schools I could have picked where she would have gotten the Montessori education, and she wouldn't be the minority. But the idea that she would be exposed to people from very different walks of life was intriguing to me.
Because I am a liberal. Because I am tolerant. Because I believed in the desegregation plan. Because I want her to be "color blind", in a way that my generation can never be.
Yet I too, have to wonder how many of the "creative class" would have made the conscience decision I made, all the while they accuse me of racism.