What do you see? The duck? or the rabbit?
You may only see the duck for awhile, and then maybe you notice the rabbit later on, or vice versa. Illusions are a funny thing. You think you see one picture, but then there turns out to be another one. School choice is the same. Some strongly believe that school choice is the way to fix our public education system. In fact, why would anyone oppose to strengthening our public education system by providing more choice for students and families? If that’s the duck, there’s the rabbit: The concept of choice appears as equity measures when in reality such concept have dreadful consequences for communities of Color. This is the side I want to explore in this website.
I aim to first briefly explore the concept of school choice, and then focus specifically on closing of urban public schools and the proliferation of privately managed charter schools.
Why? Because “reformers” use “failing schools” as justification for closing them, to open them up for a multimillion-dollar investment opportunities for non-White charter school operators. We don’t often hear about school closure. We only hear the positive aspects of choice, how students and parents can “choose” to go to charter schools. Such discourse frames choice as benign, positive, and beneficent for all students, when in fact, such race-neutral or even embracing civil rights language framework dismisses how disinvested public schools in disinvested urban neighborhoods became the target for school closure.
The Duck & The Rabbit of Charter Schools
This image illustrates the positive framework of charter schools:
This image depicts the reality of charter schools that are often dismissed by the positive framework of charter schools.
Did You Know?
Statistics shows significant increase in the number of school closures as well as privately managed charter school across our nation. But most importantly, the statistics show that public school closures are disproportionately affecting Black and Latino/a communities.
Header Image: Chloe Farand (2016). The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/duck-or-rabbit-the-100-year-old-optical-illusion-that-tells-you-how-creative-you-are-a6873106.html