January 26, 2013

From reader comments

Charter schools

You wrote an article in 2009 about charter schools. Your position was that charter schools are not public institutions and that discrimination does exist.

I live in Florida. Down the street is a charter school called Imagine. It is K-8. Two years ago I attempted to get my daughter in there. You have to go in person and fill out the application. They then give you a tour. I am convinced that what they are doing is screening you. This lady looks over my application and sees that my daughter was born in the Dominican Republic. She actually said, "that is interesting". My daughters paperwork was misplaced and she missed her opportunity to go to school there. That was their excuse for having never contacted me. I let it go. It seemed, at the time, like a huge wall to get over. Anyway, If one were to take a photo of all the students at this charter school...one would see that 98% are white. However, the public school about 2 miles away has about 50% white. Now to attend this charter school there are no buses. How convenient. So no black or hispanic children can be bused in. Yet, the public schools in the system bus in black and hispanic children.

Now I am in a situation where I want to try and get my second daughter into this school. Want to know why? First off...I despise anything that stinks of discrimination. I frown on a large group of fair skin blonde hair kids with perhaps a token black or hispanic thrown in. But the truth is, that these kids are better behaved. They do a better job of sitting and listening and not interrupting. I have been to my second daughters public school Kindergarten class. It is constantly being disrupted by a small group of kids. It isn't their color. It is income level. I am almost sure of that. I want my daughter in a class where that she can sit quiet, learn, and not be interrupted. So I will try to get her in this charter school and cross my fingers. I honestly don't know how to handle this. I suspect she may be discriminated against because she was also born in the Dominican Republic.

Anyway, this is obviously discrimination. I am surprised that African American leaders in the community are not concerned about this. Surely they know about this.

How the editor voted



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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Follow up to may situation here in Florida. Let me be clear. If I had it my way, I would leave my daughter in the school she is in. One would assume that under a fair and honorable system that they would attempt to equalize amongst all schools the children coming from various income levels so that you don't group all the lower income children into one or two public schools. The mechanism that they use is called the "reduced and free lunch" parameter. I looked it up. My daughters school this year is a whopping 50% of students are on reduced or free lunches. The charter school is a mere 4%. Now anyone should be able to look at that and see that something is wrong. I have already pointed out the large difference in skin color. A neat little trick that is used is to say, ok...your child can attend the charter school BUT you have to be responsible for seeing to transportation for your child. You see they know that will exclude many of the latino and black students who live across town. Hey, this is a Public school. Shouldn't they be required to provide buses just like other public schools? Folks, this is just plain wrong. We should be brave enough to work together to fix the public school system we have. Instead we transgress to trickery so that we can bring forth modern day segregation. I'm a white man. I believe in equality and fairness for all.