While charter schools may seem to offer a temporary advantage for these parents, the numbers simply do not bear that out. The proliferation of charter schools has led to a mass exodus from neighborhood schools, leaving empty chairs and massive budget deficits for district administrators to deal with.

Sixty years after the landmark Supreme Court Brown v. The Board of Education decision, America’s classrooms remain separate and unequal. Schools are unequally funded, unequally staffed, and unequally cared about, depending solely upon income and zip code.

The only thing strengthened by America’s approach to educating minorities over the past decade seems to be the school-to-prison pipeline, which scoops up disadvantaged dropouts by the truckload for long-term deposit at the local penitentiary.

While Friday’s report may not contain new information for those already in the know, it does at least serve as a documentable warning to the larger society that entire populations are systematically and institutionally denied the American dream.

Let the report serve notice the next time some politician crows about “the land of opportunity,” where if you just work hard and apply yourself, anyone can fulfill their God-given potential. That has been exposed as a blatant lie, and has been a lie told throughout our country’s history.

Let it serve as a counterpoint to those who would have you believe that simply electing a Black president means racism is dead—it is alive and kicking—and the same people are still being kicked.

If we do not collectively demand better educational opportunities for our children, starting in preschool, it’s clear we will never get them. And if that happens, not only will we be leaving many, many children behind, but an entire generation could be lost forever.

(Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune)

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