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Reformers Debate the Black Lives Matter Movement

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If you wonder what reformers are thinking about in private, here is a peek behind the curtain.

Elizabeth Green, founder of Chalkbeat, writes about the debate among reformers about the Black Lives Matter movement.

African American reformers questioned why there are so few people of color in leadership roles in the education reform movement, and whether it can even be called a movement because it is led by people who are white and privileged. Those are questions about power and control, which are important.

Among the questions that were not raised:

Why do reformers think that black children benefit by taking standardized tests that label most of them as failures beginning in grade 3?

Why do reformers express so little concern about class size, budget cuts, funding, and segregation?

Do reformers believe that black children benefit by being in classrooms filled with exploration and joy, rather than test pressure?

Why are reformers eager to open charter schools with no-excuses discipline, where black children are treated like robots and trained to obey?

Do reformers worry that the expansion of charters harms the remaining public schools, which enroll far greater numbers of black children than charters?

Do reformers worry about directing so many inexperienced, first-year teachers to the schools that enroll black children?

Are reformers at all concerned that charter schools are more segregated than the public schools in the same district?

Why do reformers think that giving black children a voucher to enroll in a church school with uncertified teachers will prepare them to thrive in the 21st century?

Why aren’t the leaders of reform fighting for schools that black children attend that look like the schools their own children attend?

Are reformers worried about the disparate impact that “reform” policies have had on black teachers?

Do reformers think twice about union-busting and supplying scabs for non-union schools?

Do reformers understand the role that unions have played in building a middle class?

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