The illegalities, inconsistencies, cover-ups and scandals which plague the New York City Education System work to the specific disadvantage of black and Latino children. We Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence (BNYEE) are concerned about the livelihood of our children and will no longer tolerate this abusive and criminal school system, nor will we tolerate the Bloomberg administration that tramples democracy to uphold it. Mr. Bloomberg can no longer hide behind the smoke screen of bureaucracy or the scapegoat of a single appointee. Bloomberg/Klein’s possible illegal and definitely unprincipled firing of oppositional appointees along with many Black principals and replacing them with mediocre yes-people reflect the deep-rooted arrogance of both Chancellor Klein and Mayor Bloomberg.
The mismanagement of the New York City Education System reflects the corruption and confusion faced by other school districts in poor and working neighborhoods throughout the United States. This is not an aberration, but the result of a systemic and historical momentum to erase black intelligence and replace it with puppetry.
Carter G. Woodson declared nearly a century ago that…
“The so-called modern education, with all its defects, does others so much more good than it does the Negro, because it has been worked out in conformity to the needs of those who have enslaved and oppressed weaker peoples.”
Dr. Woodson’s acclaimed monograph, The Mis-Education of the Negro, should be required reading and discussion for all government officials put in charge of programming the education of Black and Latino kids. Without such tutelage, how can one expect a billionaire and a big-time millionaire anti-trust lawyer to know what is best for Black and Latino youth?
Woodson argued eloquently and angrily that…
“The philosophy and ethics resulting from our educational system have justified slavery, peonage, segregation, and lynching…The problem of holding the Negro down, therefore, is easily solved. When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him to stand there and go yonder. He will find his ‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.”
This culture of corruption and systemic racism must end N O W! Systematic mis-education must end N O W! The administrative structures that are in place are NOT representative of the communities that they serve, and we Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence are OUTRAGED that our public education system perpetuates the “miseducation” agenda outlined by Dr. Woodson in 1933.
We demand that Mayor Bloomberg address specifically the fact that:
Police Presence fosters pre-prison conditions in our schools and initiates a prison consciousness in the minds of our kids. With metal detectors, highly regulated identification checks and police roaming the halls our kids are being tracked into a criminal mentality instead of being tracked into college. More money is spent on policing schools than is spent in college preparatory and after-school programs combined. The former ensures upstate prison development, while the latter ensures that our children get a quality education for life.
Current curricular guides consciously eliminate Afrocentric and Anti-racist multicultural curricula designed to teach our Black and Latino children about their heritage and culture. Instead of expanding efforts to foster true cultural literacy, this administration eliminated the Multicultural Curriculum office when the director retired.
This administration has Disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Black and Latino parents not only from participating in school governance, but also from their fundamental right to vote as entitled by the 1964 Voting Rights Act.
This administration has systematically kept Black & Latino school buildings as centers of environmental hazards. Privatized maintenance policies hire contractors who expose our kids to asbestos and other environmental hazards. Title I breakfast and lunch programs have been reduced or eliminated, and diminished medical support in our schools which help account for the rise of asthma and other respiratory illnesses among our children.
We must end “Mayoral Control” and the relentless movement toward “privatization” that would replace public education with private corporate control. This administration makes a special effort to bring uncertified people from the corporate world into our school system, further diminishing the possibility of a sound education for our kids. These wealthy white appointees are non-educators who oversee our public schools, and their ultimate objective is business, not education. They want to privatize NYC public education through School vouchers, the preponderance of charter schools, and awarding private janitorial and construction contracts often to all white contract firms works to the extreme detriment of black and Latino communities.
(1) The immediate establishment of a School Governance Committee (again designated by the City Council Education Committee in conjunction with BNYEE) to help create a parent/student centered school governance structure that actually run the schools in cooperation with teachers and staff
(2) The immediate implementation of the State and Federally mandated Underground Railroad and Beyond K-12 MANDATORY Curriculum. Since 1997, the NYC school system has ignored the mandate to infuse the Underground Railroad Curriculum across the K-12 grades. Only the Irish and Jewish Holocaust curricula have been up and running in the appropriate schools.
(3) The immediate re-establishment of the Office on Multicultural Curriculum and the establishment of an Anti-Racist Education Task Force to help eliminate racist attitudes and practices within the teaching and administrative staffs of the DOE. In addition, new curricula will teach all students about the evils of white supremacy and ways to combat it.
(4) The immediate elimination of all forms of high stakes testing in grades K-12 and the return to setting promotion based on teacher evaluations.
(5) The immediate end to the use of one standardized exam to determine the educational promotion of a child from one grade to another. It is not only poor educational policy, but is also a criminal act
(6) The immediate removal of all police and metal detectors from all NYC public schools and replaced with successful forms of peer-to-peer conflict resolution structures that can aid already existing working conflict resolution programs in our schools.
(7) The immediate establishment of an African American Teachers Recruitment and Hiring Task Force whose goal is to hire at least 500 African American educators by September 2011.
(8) The immediate investigation and renovation of old public schools buildings within the Black and Latino communities that are environmental hazards. These inspections and renovations will be supervised by NYPIRG (NY Public Interest Research Group) and the Public Advocate’s Office.