Thursday, November 15, 2012

What do you do when the blood, sweat and tears of your history clashes with the realities of today?

That’s what Kevin P. Chavous, our senior advisor, asked in piece published yesterday on  The Huffington Post.  Looking at how Brown v. Board of Education shaped our education system in the last 60 years, Kevin questions how the educational gap for students of different racial and economic backgrounds continue to plague our country.  In looking for a solution, Kevin writes:

We must ensure that integrated schools and integrated classrooms are available to all students no matter their race or their class, and we must also start embracing and learning from our differences. Folks, we can raise academic achievement across the board while celebrating, not demonizing, the rich diversity of cultures in this country. Integrated schools are a win-win for all students. But we are going to have to teach our kids, and adults for that matter, the importance of appreciating and learning from their peers from different backgrounds. For if we don't, it will be impossible for future generations to succeed in today's diverse society where collaboration is a necessity and separate but equal is no longer a viable alternative.

The Huffington Post isn’t the only place that Kevin has been writing this week.  In Sunday’s Washington Post, Kevin wrote an editorial on what President Obama’s second term will look like and the fate of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

Kevin knows firsthand how the OSP has changed family’s lives. He was a supporter of the program as a member of the D.C. Council when the program was created in 2004. And he continues to support the program.

Kevin discusses some of the historical roadblocks that have been place in the way of the program's ability to thrive:

These roadblocks are part of a long history of the administration’s resolute opposition to the voucher program, from Education Secretary Arne Duncan rescinding 216 scholarships in 2009 to the department ignoring the positive results of a gold-standard study, conducted by its own Institute of Education Sciences, that found that D.C. voucher students graduate at a rate of 91 percent — more than 20 percentage points higher than those who sought a voucher but either didn’t get one or didn’t enroll in the program after being accepted. Because of the delaying tactics of the department, a credible — and federally mandated — new study of the program cannot be conducted unless the program enrolls hundreds of new students next year.

It’s time for the Administration to put politics aside, embrace this program that works, and let District children from low-income families access hope to a better future.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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