I had 90 seconds last evening in Memphis to share my views on the corporate school segregation plan in Memphis. I almost rushed through this before I was escorted from the podium by one of Memphis' finest:
Like many others, I am here tonight to question the corporate education plan to replace community schools in Memphis with corporate welfare ASD schools or the homegrown equivalents in the IZone.
As noted by Yes Prep officials in a rare acknowledgement of reality, the "political climate" in Memphis has, indeed, changed.
Sadly, SCS remains dominated by non-educators and corporate advisors, who echo billionaire ideologues’ intent on remaking public services to benefit corporations who then impose austerity for public employees and the children they serve.
And if anyone has the audacity to question the fanciful corporate goals imposed on schools, he or she is dismissed as making excuses. No excuses, the corporistas say in unison.
I am here to tell you tonight that parents, teachers, students and their supporters are tired of the excuses, too.
We are tired of excuses for closing community schools, which are central to any cultural cohesion in neighborhoods that are hanging on to survive.
We are tired of excuses for offering replacement schools without libraries, science labs, counselors, art, music, and athletics.
We are tired of excuses for replacing professional teachers with educational amateurs who impose draconian teaching methods and inhumane discipline that no middle class parents would ever allow for their children.
We are tired of excuses for not providing community schools with resources, staff, support services, and trust that the SCS Board only offers to corporate mercenaries who then leave town when the taxpayers ask too many questions.
We are tired of excuses for accepting corporate philanthropists’ plans that are marched out under the banner of civil rights and equality, when, in fact, these schemes represent the grossest examples of educational justice in black face.
We are tired, finally, of SCS Board excuses for embracing the god-awful ASD and its home grown version, the IZone, both of which are designed to culturally sterilize children and turn the teaching profession into temp work that assures a constant churn and that requires no long term investment.
We are here to say, finally, no more excuses for doing what you were elected and appointed to do.