The Silence of Education Reformers on Ferguson is Deafening


Reposted from Dropout Nation:

Dropout Nation is undertaking its mission, one to which all school reformers should be committed at all times and all moments: Building brighter futures for all children. Challenging systems that harm the futures of all of our sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, and cousins. Stand along with communities to bend the arc of history toward economic and social progress. And create cultures of genius in which all of our kids are provided the high-quality education they need and deserve.

Back in August and September, after Wilson’s callous slaying of Brown led to months of protests in and out of Missouri, this publication ran pieces on how the Ferguson-Florissant School District exemplified the failed policies and practices endemic in American public education. This included focusing on how the district failed to provide all kids with college-preparatory curricula, a Dropout Nation Podcast on how we must use the events in Ferguson to save young black men from the economic and social abyss, and a report on how Ferguson-Florissant was doing worse on behalf of black children than the notoriously-woeful St. Louis district nearby. So why can’t reformers do the same? More importantly, how can the school reform movement talk about addressing equity in public education while remaining silent about Ferguson?

To be a school reformer is to look at all the issues that happen in the lives of our kids, understand how American public education impacts those matters adversely, and champion solutions that can transform the schools and other institutions at the center of the lives of children, their families, and the communities in which they live. When reformers don’t live up to their obligations, as both members of a moral movement for bettering the lives of children as well as human beings, they are doing disservice to the mission. The silence of so many reformers on Ferguson is shameful, unacceptable even. And it must stop.

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