Maybe they really-o truly-o love diversity and would like nothing better than to see our tax dollars go toward lifting up the marginalized. Safe housing for the poor; better healthcare; close those gaps! Maybe they think in retrospect that Reganomics was a mistake for its undoing of LBJ's Great Society programs, which were helping close achievement gaps in the 70s. Maybe they are, but I'm just not hearing it.
Perhaps today's creationists have disavowed former claims of Biblical acceptance of slavery, former support for state's rights over constitutional rights and oppressive local decisions that created a social system of haves and have nots based on race. Perhaps today's social conservatives are sorry the achievement gap was deliberately created and perpetuated throughout the Jim Crow era. Perhaps they regret funding schools for blacks at one third those of whites throughout much of the past century. Perhaps they do, but I just missed it.
If that's true, then please accept my apologies, in advance.
Forgive me, I beg you, if by chance I have only heard the fringe few social conservatives who cry out against diversity and urge the disestablishment of the public schools in favor of a system of free-enterprise options. And forgive me if I missed hearing the mass social conservative movement that calls for justice in a divided world.
But if that's not the case, then the Bluegrass Institute's latest stunt is simply shameful. It is a set up.
This from BIPPS:
ACTION ALERT: Ask Kentucky’s new education commissioner to develop a plan to close longstanding achievement gaps in math and reading between white and black
students in Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky’s largest school district
SUMMARY: Efforts to improve education, especially for black students, have failed to produce anything close to acceptable results in Jefferson County. It’s time to take action!
ACTION REQUESTED: Please contact the new commissioner, Terry Holliday, and ask him to do what he did as superintendent of the Iredell-Statesville, N.C. school district between 2002 and 2009: focus on, and close, the gap. Please do the following today:
1. Call Commissioner Holliday’s office at (502) 564-3141 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Politely ask him to:
•Do what he did as superintendent of the Iredell-Statesville, N.C. school district in less than seven years: Relentlessly pursue closing gaps in math and reading between Jefferson County’s white and black students.
•Require the districts’ highly paid leaders to develop and publicize their plan to close the gap.
•Convene a task force that will hold public hearings to gather input from all stakeholders in the district: students, parents, teachers, clergy, business and political leaders, teachers, objective researchers and taxpayers.
•Require the district to set a timetable and deadlines for closing the gap.
There is not a thing wrong with citizens expressing their opinions.
But this cynical advocacy favors rallying town hall refugees to pressure school leaders while BIPPS argues against adequate resources. It is disingenuous, at least, but probably worse.
The public schools in Kentucky would exist on greatly reduced funding if the Bluegrass Institute had its way. Vouchers for private religious schools would abound if the Bluegrass Institute had its way. The Kentucky Education Association would not exist if the Bluegrass Institute had its way. If the Bluegrass Institute had its way, I suspect they'd put the system on life support and monitor the the schools using every measure available....if only to know when the patient was dead.
I've got an idea. Call Jim Waters, director of policy and communications for the Bluegrass Institute, at (270) 782-2140 and tell him we'll believe his new found concern for the achievement gap when he speaks out in favor of adequate funding for each and every Kentucky school child; that he opposes any move to teach any specific religious views, including intelligent design, in the public schools; and that the Bluegrass Institute will support healthcare options for all American citizens .
Prefer to email him? Try this, email@example.com.
SOURCE: BIPPS Action Alert