Of what I reviewed on social media in the last day at the crossroads of education and Saturday’s march, this seems to be a general sentiment:
“The education you are receiving has made you a better tool for your oppressor” #JusticeOrElse
— jewelle. (@JewelleSantana) October 10, 2015
— Brother Jesse (@BrotherJesse) October 11, 2015
In a nutshell (if that is possible), education is not working for Black persons, and has also been used as its own tool of oppression in order to preserve the white supremacist power structure. Children have been confined to “ghetto” schools in communities that also lack a number of other basic community services and structures that could improve the lives of those that live within.
But poor investment in education is a different matter than “miseducation.” The latter may be much more deliberate, even though budget decisions are deliberate enough. Nonetheless, young persons of color are educated to concede to their oppression, maybe to condone it, excuse it, explain it away, and to ignore their own unique cultures. The goal is to devalue every aspect of community as the only means of escape, never to look back. Adhere to strict dress codes, speak proper English, and track the speaker.
It might take more digging, or more time, to realize what lessons we can learn from this movement in particular to education. I believe that privatization, and many central tenets of so-called “education reform,” do amount to miseducation. I suspect that even the most progressive and liberal minded of public school reformers have to answer for their own ignorance of race and education. But there is no way that anyone could reasonably argue that alignment with charter school operators, charter management organizations, and the largely white male philanthrocapitalist has done any good for anyone in the last 20 years since this March began.