Columnist Ruben Navarrette gets it right when he concludes that “for African-Americans, the next epic civil rights battle will be fought not in the streets but in the classroom.”
Navarrette’s particularly well-reasoned and pointed comments here are worth the read.
He takes those to task whose mantra remains: “More money automatically means a better education.” Instead, Navarrette points out:
“Some people like to think the public education crisis can be eased by simply throwing more dollars at public schools. That mentality makes the issue easier to deal with. It’s much more challenging to look beyond the spreadsheet and see the problem for what it is: a shortage of imagination. Many teachers have a tough time imagining African-American students being among the high achievers. They don’t have a sense of possibility for what these students can accomplish.”
One wonders how much, as former President Bush once stated, “the soft bigotry of low expectations” affects the performance of those in Kentucky’s Tier 5 (lowest-performing) schools.