Speaking Out for Education at First Grace United Methodist Church

Today I got to ride my bike in a skirt and a tank top. Thank you, New Orleans, for giving me another day of summer, in November. I pedaled down to the Bywater to meet J. for a meeting to talk about planning a bigger meeting. And then I headed over to Canal and Jeff Davis to First Grace United Methodist Church, for a the event Post-Katrina Education in New Orleans: A Human Rights Violation. There’s a lot of talk about how education in New Orleans has improved since the takeover of schools by the state and their decentralization through charter schools. There has surely been improvement for some kids, but the picture is just more complicated than that. I snapped this photo of Aesha Rasheed as she spoke to the crowd about what it might mean if a quality education were considered a right. It isn’t right now, and that makes it hard to conceptualize education as a collective responsibility. And one problem with charter schools is there is no collective ownership of them. The charter school your kid goes to might be fantastic, and the teachers might be dedicated and brilliant–this isn’t about that. The question is how do we take collective responsibility and ensure that every single child gets the education that every single child deserves. I thought about that for the next couple of hours as people testified, told their stories, made their own demands. And then I rode my bike back to Uptown, stopping at the McDonald’s on Claiborne for a Filet-o-Fish, some fries, and the last few minutes of some show about lawyers or maybe cops in L.A., I think. Sometimes that’s just what I have to do after a long day of listening.

2 thoughts on “Speaking Out for Education at First Grace United Methodist Church

  1. I love the term collective responsibility……the direction our country is going with charter schools….collective responsibility……never going to happen.

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