Community members in Boston and New York City have recently opposed education policies that keep schools planted in the past.
Boston’s local NAACP chapter recently referred to city’s Mayor Martin J. Walsh‘s decision last week to pick an inexperienced white candidate as interim school superintendent with no public input as an attempt to hold the district to a hateful history, the Boston Herald reported. The decision to select Laura Perille —who heads Boston schools improvement nonprofit EdVestors but has no teaching experience— echoes choices made in the 1960s and ’70s that “cemented the racial divide” in the city according to the NAACP chapter.
Perille was approved by the Boston School Committee Monday after Tommie Chang, the city’s first Asian-American schools superintendent, announced that he was stepping down. The move to back Perille was not one embracing progress, NAACP officials said, especially given that Boston has a large Black school population. More than one-third of the students in Boston are Black, with only 14 percent white, according to the Herald. The city has also struggled with a reputation for racism as well as never had a Black mayor yet. Tito Jackson was stopped from achieving the victory of being the city’s first African-American mayor when Walsh won a second term last year.
Elsewhere, New Yorkers, who have dealt with racism in their city, have also been embroiled in a school segregation battle. Little Red School House, a private school on the city’s Upper West Side, sparked outrage with a racist policy that grouped together students of color in the same homerooms away from white students for the 2017-18 school year, the New York Post reported. Parents who learned about the racist separation spoke out against it, with some claims being raised that the policy had long been put into place at Little Red. After major complaints, the school has decided against the racist policy for the next school year.
It seems that Black students and parents have been fighting for educational equality forever. When Obama was in office, students had some relief in seeing federal policies to help combat discrimination. However, Trump administration officials have sought to roll back Obama-era policies, with the Department of Education abandoning civil rights protections for students of color. The NAACP had filed suit last month against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the department to stop that madness. Students of color can’t be shortchanged when it comes to getting an education.