New Education Principles 101 Textbook: New Education Principles 101 will revolve around a list of Educational Priorities and selected online essays. Find essays by scrolling down this page. Instructor: Mba Mbulu

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Class #7

Class Assignment

Read the essay that follows on Charter Schools. Be prepared to respond to the following questions.

(1) Charter schools are not as "evil" as the public school system has been traditionally. Is putting the education of young Blacks in the hands of the lesser of the evils good for the development of Our people?
(2) Do you agree that "Black People in America cannot progress in essential ways as long as We are confined to white America's comfort zone"?
(3) Do you agree that charter schools function, in a sinister way, to keep Black People from establishing independent Black schools?
(4) "Charter schools, as presently constructed, permit a variety of groups to use different processes to reach the same white power objective." What is meant by that statement?
(5) "The answer to Our educational needs are Black adults who are responsible and politically mature." What is meant by that statement?

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Essay #7: Charter Schools

Charter schools have become the rage for groups that want to get away from the restrictions of the traditional public school system. Any group of parents, educators or community organizations can put together a proposal and present it to an appropriate chartering agency. If the proposal is approved, the group gets the authority to operate its own public education institution.
The huge attraction of charter schools is the fact that they are public schools. That means, among other things, that a school receives public funds for each student it enrolls. The more students the school attracts, the more money it gets. Thus, one of Black People's apparent problems, financing, is partially addressed by the charter school option.
The second attraction of charter schools is the lack of traditional restraints; each school independently manages its money, hires it own employees and can be educationally innovative. This opens the door to non-traditional budgets, teachers and assistants that are representative of a school's target group, the purchase and use of non-traditional books and the implementation of non-traditional teaching principles and processes.
However, there is a major problem with the charter school system that negates all of its apparent advantages. After all is said and done, the charter school system is still a part of white America's public school system. White America's public school system is designed to promote white America's political, economic, and social priorities. If a charter school institutionalizes an educational process that poses serious challenges to those priorities, that school will be attacked and decertified, and its incorporators could be charged with whatever type of illegal activity the status quo feels like pursuing.

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I mentioned earlier that charter schools can be "non-traditional." However, the term non-traditional must be understood within the proper context. Non-traditional means that which is not normally practiced, but within white America, non-traditional cannot go beyond what the status quo is willing to tolerate. White America's system will allow itself to be stretched, but not beyond its comfort zone. Black People in America cannot progress in essential ways as long as We are confined to white America's comfort zone, and that neuters charter schools as an effective alternative education tool for Our People.
The bottom word is this: Charter schools are designed to enable dissatisfied groups from a variety of cultures to produce supporters of a white power status quo in their own unique way. As long as the schools are producing supporters of a white power status quo, white people will let the administrators of that school run its operations as they see fit.
Charter schools, as presently constructed, permit a variety of groups to use different processes to reach the same white power objective. In that regard, charter schools are just another spoke in the "integration" wheel; they generate a lot of motion but they can't take Black People where We need to go. They actually function, in a sinister way, to sidetrack Us into not taking the measures We should be taking. We need to be establishing independent Black schools. With independent schools, We can enjoy the full advantages of managing Our own budgets, hiring Our own employees, being educationally innovative and learning to be self-governing. With independent schools, We can prepare Ourselves for real Black power and, if We see fit, work toward establishing an independent Black nation.
As for the financing, Black People are already capable of bankrolling independent Black schools. Any people who purchase as many cars, televisions, telephones/beepers, pizzas and sneakers as We do can certainly finance the education of Black children. Right now We are simply too irresponsible and immature to do so. Maybe that irresponsibility and immaturity are a result of Us going through white America's school system. If it is, We should make sure that today's Blacks do not go through that same system and find themselves with the same shortcomings.
Charter schools are not the answer to Our educational needs. The answer to Our educational needs are Black adults who are responsible and politically mature.

Questions? Email aset@asetbooks.com and list your course title as the subject.

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