For those of you who follow me on twitter, you may have witnessed my rant on education yesterday. It all started when my friend James tweeted, “We need year-round school to compete globally – http://bit.ly/jzrENl #cnn“. An idea I’m all for–kids should be in school year-round!! This then prompted a discussion on privatizing grade school education. While I don’t think that privatizing K-12 education will solve ALL problems regarding the inadequacies of public education, but I do think there is something to be said about schools having more control over education to ensure our children are getting an effective education that will prepare students for college and future careers.
The truth of the matter is, our federal and state governments don’t seem to value education like many other parts of the world do. Education is simply another line item on a budget needed to be balanced, and thus subject to funding cuts like everything else. And when given the chance, governments are willing to give education the financial axe. How can we succeed as the wealthiest country in the world when we aren’t investing in education? What kind of future do we face without making education a priority?
In Pennsylvania, for example, Governor Corbett has proposed to cut $1.2B in funding to education. Meanwhile, Corbett has proposed to increase corrections funding by $600M. I think we can see where his priorities lie. But overall, it’s unfortunate that education is so expendable when money gets tight. And who suffers the most? Black/brown children in low economic communities.
How do we prevent our government telling us that investing in education is not as important as building more prisons (despite education being a preventative measure for crime)? Well there are two charter schools I know of that have taken matters into their own hands to make sure our black/brown children are not forgotten or overlooked–Capital Preparatory Magnet School (Hartford, CT) and Urban Prep Academies1(Chicago, IL). Both schools seem to be taking an aggressive and well-rounded approach to education. They believe in our children and challenge them to be great, in ways many public schools can’t or won’t.
Because I feel so inspired by the work done at Urban Prep and Capital Prep and the education discussion I had on twitter yesterday, I decided that I, Gemmie, should start my own charter school in a economically disadvantaged neighborhood somewhere in the US (I’m thinking Baltimore)!!! It shall be called, If You Believe It You Can Achieve It Prep2 (IYBIYCAIP for short). Though I’m not an educator, I am very passionate about education issues and am determined to help make the world a better place. I have lots of connections and I’m a queen at networking, so I’m sure I could find funding to make this charter school a REALITY!! In fact, I’ve already enlisted the help of some of my dear twitter friends to serve in various roles at IYBIYCAIP…
- Board of Directors–The Champ
- Athletics–Robert & Tunde
- Creative Writing —Muze
- Film Studies–Cheekie
- History–Tunde, Stank_0
- Life Skills–Miss T Lee, Shonners
- Music Appreciation–Miss T Lee
- Science–Berook, Tunde
- Misc–Ally, Panama Jackson, Slim Jackson
As you can see, we’re going to need to more people to fill in as teachers and academic advisors to make this school successful!!! Feel free to contact me about a position!!
Tough some of this is said in jest, I seriously have the aspiration to found a 6-12 charter school in a community that is desperate for quality education!!! Parents shouldn’t have to pay for their kids to go to private school (and truth be told, many of our communities can’t afford it anyway!) or rely on the government to have mercy on public education (that’s usually crap to begin with).
So my readers, what do you think about education in this country? Can public education be saved (if so, how)? What is your take on [non-profit] charter schools? Would you accept a calling to work at my charter school, IYBIYCAIP, if when I start it? And if you were a big time corporate tycoon, would you donate to keep my school open?
I Luh Da Kidz,
~Gem, Future Founder & CEO of IYBIYCAIP
1Last year I had the pleasure to attend UP’s Convocation (since a dear friend of mine was a teacher there). Hearing those beautiful black boys recite the UP creed brought tears to my goon eyes.
2Or at least until I can come up with a better, shorter name. Any suggestions???