Education holds value beyond the politics of political power
By Derek Joy
Education is a hot button issue that some-how gets turned into a political ping pong ball. Just like the issues of racism and equality, education is so often reduced to an afterthought on the back burner. As the Democratic National Convention proceeds in Charlotte, N.C., on the heels of the end of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., here is something worthy of consideration.
Mainstream media, in the aftermath of the RNC, officially nominating Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as its standard bearers, wants to dismiss the existence of racism.
Okay. Go back to May 17, 1954. Remember? That was the date the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Landmark Brown v. Board (Kansas) of Education. The practice of “Separate but Equal” in the nation’s public education systems was struck down.
But, in reality, has that “Separate but Equal” principal as a matter of practice been eliminated? I think not. Simply because the politics of capitalism has an inherent design that allows elitist status and privilege to the wealthy, virtually excluding the poor and people of color. An objective look at Florida’s Public Education documents discrimination under the false pretense of improving education through accountability.
How’s that, one is might readily ask? Elementary would be the answer. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is a discriminatory tool for arbitrary and capricious use by the wealthy, legal in principle and practice. Legislated discrimination, no less real than the once Constitutionally mandated “Three Fifths” provision that granted slaves owners three for every five slave owned by them. That’s the way it was.
Now, fast forward to how the Republican majority in the Florida State Legislature, working in concert with then Florida Governor Jeb Bush, ramrodded the FCAT into law.
The requirements applied only to public education districts. There are no such requirements for private schools in the state of Florida. And this is done without consideration for the successes achieved by those who graduated from public schools before the FCAT became law.
No quantifiable evidence that the FCAT has increased the success of its graduates beyond the successes of those before them. Even worse is how private schools are allowed to compete against public schools in athletics. Without a doubt, that is a prime example of the practice of “Separate but Equal.” Sure is.
It is so when politicians find ways to funnel public education dollars to private schools. Why? Simply because the Florida State Constitution prohibits public funding of private schools.
No matter which way you slice it, that’s discrimination and racism. And it is accomplished through economic manipulation.