Wednesday, August 02, 2006
FINALLY, WHAT OPS MINORITY PARENTS
REALLY THINK, BUT FEW ARE BRAVE ENOUGH TO SAY:
AN OP-ED BY A'JAMAL BYNDON
Omahan A’Jamal Byndon has an excellent op-ed in the July/August issue of Nebraska Report, the newsletter of Nebraskans For Peace. See “A Divided Community” on pp. 9 and 10:
Byndon calls for a community summit from all sides of the current controversy over proposed reorganization of the Omaha metro area’s schools. Educators and politicians are creating one “learning community,” with OPS divided into largely white, black and brown districts. Byndon says he fears a “destructive schism” if more input from outside the education community isn’t taken, especially from African-American citizens.
He’s absolutely right, but is anyone listening? We all should. We must!
Quoting his key points:
1. The focus on “diversity” and “integration” in the Omaha school district debate diverts us from the primary mission, which is a quality education for our children.
2. It is offensive that the white leadership of the Omaha School District should be touting “diversity” when there are no people of color making significant decisions within that apartheid educational system.
3. To place the educational emphasis on “diversity” is a dubious proposition in any event, since – unlike the relationship between quality education and improved economic status – it is nearly impossible to measure incremental changes or quantify improvement in racial attitudes.
4. Why are we so invested in maintaining the current educational structure when it is clearly failing to provide African-American students a quality education?
5. It is also patently obvious that the Omaha Public Schools leadership has no real idea how to resolve the educational problems facing African-American students.
6. A “plantation” mentality has taken root in the Omaha School District, with the white leadership historically refusing to cede control of our schools to the African-American community.
7. The “plantation’ must be dismantled if our children are to get the quality education they deserve.
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