We tip our hats to the panelists who led yesterday’s long-awaited Stride Education Equity forum. We were especially thrilled to have Alisha Thomas Morgan, a long-time champion of school choice, spokeswoman for PSO and former Georgia State Representative, run through the findings of our latest African American survey on school choice.
(If you haven’t already, visit our Twitter page (@pubschoolops) to see live tweets and highlights from the event!)
Participants for the session, “Empowering Black Families with Education Options” included a slew of leading minds in the Black education-reform space. Aside from Alisha Thomas Morgan, we heard from Derrell Bradford, Executive Vice President of 50CAN, David Hardy, Retired Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia and session moderator Peter C. Groff, Former President of the Colorado State Senate & Obama Administration Official.
During the discussion, we were reminded that the very basis for school districting is founded on principles of homeownership within arbitrary district lines, that disproportionately exclude Black families due to explicit racial bias. We recognize the lengths that parents must go through to ensure their child is able to access the best school, often means parents must resort to extreme lengths. This includes putting down another family member’s home as their own residence. These desperate attempts to give children the education they rightly deserve speaks to an unacceptable lack of choices available to families of color. Wherever we can promote better school options that work for children, we will always see higher quality student successes, and greater parent satisfaction.
While Black parents overwhelmingly want school options for their children, the elected officials they vote for more often than not support policies that limit school options for families. This discrepancy, according to Alisha Thomas Morgan, can be alleviated through parent education, and acknowledgement from those in the education-reform space that school choice policies benefit African American families, not harm them. We need to realign what Black parents want for their children’s education, with the policies they support and vote for.
For too long, Black parents have been left out of important conversations surrounding their children’s education, not to mention other critically important public policy debates. PSO will continue the work of empowering Black parents’ hopes and desires for their children’s educational futures.