Fw: The Right to Choose--Was "The Militant Joins Liberals in Denouncing..."

La Sainte pleau at prodigy.net
Tue Jul 9 18:11:09 MDT 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "La Sainte" <pleau at prodigy.net>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 3:04 PM
Subject: Re: The Right to Choose--Was "The Militant Joins Liberals in

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "bon moun" <sherrynstan at igc.org>
> To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 1:20 PM
> Subject: Re: The Right to Choose--Was "The Militant Joins Liberals in
> Denouncing..."
> > Begging your pardon, but how exactly do you know what working/poor folks
> > will "rally around?"
> >
> > As the parent of black children who are in public schools, I can tell
> > that this is one of the demands being made by Republicans in this state
> > right now.  Because it amounts to de facto re-segregation.
> >
> > These proposals you are making indicate that you do not have kids in
> public
> > schools.  Did you attend public schools?
My response:
> I am basing my position of the right of parents to send their children to
> whichever school district they choose *without* vouchers in part on the
> events that led up to the creation of three experimental school districts
> for community control in the City of New York (Ocean Hill-Brownsville
> District in Brooklyn)  back in 1968. Just before then, a number of
> disgusted with the poor education opportunities in their district began
> visiting other districts in a quest for a good place for their children to
> learn. They were, of course, turned away every time. These parents became
> angry, protesting against the city for not providing their children with
> education they deserved. More and more parents got involved, rightfully
> accusing the powers that be of discrimination against the African-American
> and Puerto Rican children in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville District. These
> events ultimately forced the City of New York to set up the experiment.
> community was given control of curriculum, budget, and the hiring and
> transferring of teachers and principals.

 Unfortunately, the United
> Federation of Teachers took a poor position on the experiment, protested
> transfer of 13 teachers, 5 assistant principals and 1 principal by going
> on strike. That strike lasted for roughly two months. As a result, the
> experiment was scrapped. However, there were a number of teachers who did
> support the community and refused to honor what was a racist strike and
> taught the children but not in the way they were required to before. They,
> too, experimented, used new  teaching methods, did away with the
> authoritarian approach to teaching and learning. Yes, the experiment did
> fail but not because the community was not up to the task of providing the
> groundwork for the best possible education available for their children.
> When I proposed that one option would be that parents could fight for the
> right to send their children to whatever school district they please
> *without* vouchers, it could grow into something much more beyond that,
> like forcing real and viable concessions from the local and state
> governments, such as experimental schools under the control of the
> the community.
> To answer your last question, I was educated entirely in the public school
> system, but we were very, very lucky in that my parents got us kids
> the back door into an excellent one.  I will always be grateful to them
> that.
> Yours in struggle,
> Cherie Pleau

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