More and more readers are talking about local news on Facebook.
One place you can read and comment on the latest news in Durham and Orange counties is managing editor Mark Schultz’s Facebook page, where he posts links to the day’s top stories and commentary. (Send him a Friend request.) On Tuesday, Mark posted this with a link to staff writer Greg Childress’s story “Durham superintendent warns parents against charter schools, resegregation.” (bit.ly/2mVqPrz)
Today’s top story in Durham: New Superintendent Pascal Mubenga fires a shot across the bow, warning that charter schools are hurting Durham Public Schools and could return local education to the days of segregation. The thing is many Durham schools are already segregated (we added that to our story). ... Tell us what you think about DPS and charters (Durham has among the most in NC), and we’ll publish comments online and in the paper.
Here is what some of you said.
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Ken Larsen: I think Superintendent Mubenga is spot on with his assessment.
Aidil Ortiz: I find it offensive that new residents want to move here but are unwillingly to add their resources to the public schools. To remove resources from public school system by giving those resources to charter schools or private schools kills the quality of public schools and deprives public schools of the resources necessary to serve all students as they should.
Chuck Kenney: I sincerely think the only way to save the schools in Durham is to develop more magnet schools. I taught at Durham School of the Arts, and it’s absolutely the best school I’ve ever taught in. I thought 6-12th grade was a bad idea, but those kids got to develop their talents over the course of enrollment. Just imagine what could be done in other fields like STEM and medical fields.
Jacob Rogers: Durham public schools have a terrible stigma to overcome. I personally know families who lived in Durham but relocated to Wake once their kids were of school age. Quite frankly, I see no issues with charter schools. They offer another choice. Parents are making that decision.
Ellen Dagenhart: I agree with Aidil, Imagine what our schools could be if ALL parents devoted themselves to making Durham’s schools the best for ALL children. Parceling out resources unevenly is a poor way to strengthen the whole. The politicians and their donors profiting off charter schools are shortchanging a generation.
Nia Wilson: This is old news. We knew this about charter schools. It all points back to gentrification. People with privilege move out of suburbia for an urban experience and move into mostly poor minority communities only to realize that disinvestment extends beyond individual households. Rather than actually working with the community that exists they set up systems that allow them the comforts they expect. There is enough evidence to support the notion that, even if it was not the original intent, charter schools are now being used to segregate students and destroy the public school system.
Chris Weaver: Return to the days of segregation? When are people going to stop trying to sell this fear? Stunning that a city so slam full of Democrats is still so fixated on race. ... If Democrats who manage public schools had not made such a mess of them, parents would not be in need of alternate education.
Will Danger: Imagine being a grown man who thinks that race is irrelevant to discussions about disparate outcomes of children of different races in a region whose political establishment worked for decades to disadvantage one race of children.
Jacqueline Wagstaff: Segregation is not my big issue. Instead my issue is the quality of education coming from the schools that are 80 to 90 percent black and brown children that are the lowest performing schools. Also when you have a board member that sits on a charter school board while also serving on the public school board this makes it seem contradictory to what the new superintendent is trying to promote. I’m a firm believer that when you are the face of a public taxpayers organization and you are a part of the elected body you should only be serving one God when it comes to your oath of office.
Dolly Carlene Reaves: I want to know why our magnet schools get small class sizes and still have teacher assistants while our traditional schools are left with large classes and no assistants? Hasn’t anyone wondered why suspension rates increased by 200 percent and over 80 percent of the students suspended are black? Large class sizes, limited resources for teachers and students, poor mental health services available. Are we really holding up to the promise of providing equal opportunity to a quality education?
Frederick Xavier Ravin III: The positioning of the charter school vs. public school conversation is decisive to say the least as it’s likely a strategic step in the path of eventually allowing a statewide voucher program that then allows public school dollars to be used at private schools both religious and/or non-religious. I’m proud of our public schools, I think they can become even better, that’s why my children attend public school and, why I volunteer there. However, this argument is made to pit people against each other. It’s the “I want whats best for my child” vs “I want whats best for all the children whom reside in Durham”. Hopefully we will look back in 10-20 years and see DPS outperforming charter schools but, we will have to have the buy-in from the community at large to make it happen.
Michelle Burton: I suggest everyone read “Democracy in Chains” by Nancy MacLean, a Duke professor. The privatization of public schools has been in the works for over 60 years. Research what happen in Prince Edward County, Va., after the Brown v. Board of Education. Research segregation academies. Research what happen in Chile under the Pinochet regime. The powers that be wanted segregation; they just figured out a way to segregate without calling attention to race because they know people would get upset about it. And it took them 60 years to do it. The powers that be played the long game. They called there schemes “charter schools” and “vouchers” and they sold it as giving parents choice. The funny thing is liberals thought charter schools were a great idea until they realized what it was. The powers that be sold it as individualism and doing what is best for my child. and helping black children get out of poverty, etc., etc., and we bought it. White parents bought it, and black parents bought it.