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Archived: 10/08/2013

“The child becomes largely what it is taught; hence we must watch what we teach it, and how we live before it.” --- Jane Addams

 

The Wilmington Ten Foundation for Social Justice believes that an equal and quality education is fundamental to accessing economic and other social opportunities. We believe that education is the most valuable tool needed to enter mainstream society; and has been considered as the “great equalizer”.

Desegregation and integration of our public schools across the country has a long bitter sweet history. Most recently, we seem to have missed the mark on these issues in the sector of public school education in many of our communities across the country. More and more neighborhood schools are popping up across the country. Is this the new phraseology for re-segregating our public schools? Many still view our schools as a means to foster a sense of community, and to serve as a training ground to foster diversity.  We live in a more pluralistic society than ever before; therefore we cannot afford to dichotomize the student makeup when assigning students in our schools.

More than ever, our students continue to need a broad world view in almost every aspect in order to develop into the productive contributing citizens that we expect. Our most recent legislative decisions are seemingly made with a narrow world view, which in turn will decrease opportunities for our students and families, lessen their coping and critical thinking, and cause our communities to become more polarized.

We are face to face on a daily basis with the crisis in public education.  Achievement scores, dropout rates, our high school and college graduation rates, disparity in school funding, and school violence are just a few of the issues in our education system. These are issues that affect our children, grandchildren, and communities in a most personal manner, every single day. Every educational decision that is made at any level, whether federal, state, or local impacts someone’s sociocultural world view and orientation.

Our children need to feel valued for who they are. Our children need to have the experience of pluralism within our schools which will allow all children an opportunity in their daily lives and upon graduation to be successful in an interdependent world, in which they will live, work and serve as adults. Our public schools also need more funding, which will allow for better teacher pay, and more human and technical supports and resources. Therefore, we must challenge the decision makers to be more sensitive to the most obvious needs of our children.

The Wilmington Ten Foundation for Social Justice was founded on the belief, dignity, and worth of every human being.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela

 

Suggested Reading:

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/unwrapping_the_gifted/2013/08/same_and_equal_are_not_congrue.html

 

Karen Clay Beatty, MSW-----Executive Director