No matter what happens to me in America good or bad, I will always love my country and be grateful for the education I received. Despite growing up on welfare, my mother and grandmother were determined not to send me to Chicago Public Schools.
My grandmother, a maid scrapped together enough money to send me to private school through the 6th grade. There were a few times that we were late with the tuition. The principal would stand by my school desk and set a white envelopment in front of me. I did not need to open it. I knew what it said. Either pay up or I don’t come to school the next week. Once I missed an entire month of school due to unpaid tuition. Sooner or later grandmother would save the day by pawning something and back in uniform I was.
During the late 1980’s grandmother became too ill to work. We could no longer afford for pay my tuition.
I went to a public school for the first time and I was terrified.
It turned out to be one of the worst experiences of my life.
The teachers looked down on most of the students. They actually liked me more than the other students because I transferred in from a private school and my test scores were better.
Yes I was their golden egg. I won the spelling bees and did everything that they wanted from the other students but could not seem to get.
Every week my home room teacher would proudly announce, “Afrocity got the highest test score”.
I so wished she did not do that.
It meant bullies taking their frustrations out me during lunch, gym, on the way home, or in the bathroom stall.
I no longer had the security of hiding my lack of a fashionable wardrobe behind a uniform. My “flooding” pants from the Salvation Army thrift shop were the subject of locker room jokes. “Girl comb your hair and pull up your gym shoes” they would yell. Or even worse they would hum old Negro spirituals like “Wade in the Water” whenever I walked by.
It makes me shudder even now decades later. I continued to a Chicago Public High School for the “gifted” which was somewhat more bearable. At least there we all had the common goal of wanting to get the hell out.
I adored college and graduate school and have a successful career that I love.
I had put most of the bad public school memories behind me until recently when I heard about the some of the classmates of Sasha and Malia Obama at the Sidwell Friends School. There 1,700 students that would not be able to attend private schools if were not for the $7,500 vouchers they receive.
When Obama was a presidential candidate in 2008, he stated that he supported the vouchers.
Obama Open to Private School Vouchers
By ELIZABETH GREEN, Staff Reporter of the New York Sun | February 15, 2008
Senator Obama said this week that he is open to supporting private school vouchers if research shows they work.
“I will not allow my predispositions to stand in the way of making sure that our kids can learn,” Mr. Obama, who has previously said he opposes vouchers, said in a meeting with the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “We’re losing several generations of kids, and something has to be done.”
Education analysts said Mr. Obama’s statement is the closest they have ever seen a Democratic presidential candidate come to embracing the idea of vouchers. Vouchers are taxpayer-funded scholarships that allow families to opt out of public school and use their government-allotted education dollars to attend a private school instead. They are despised by teachers unions, powerful players in Democratic politics.
That was February 2008. What happened?
So tell me “Dear Leader” Obama. if you stated during your presidential campaign that you were in favor of voucher programs that are proven to be effective, why did you allow your Secretary of Eduction, Arne Duncan to bury the results of study that said that the voucher program in Washington D.C. was succeeding? Why did you allow the termination of the $7,500 Opportunity Scholarship Vouchers for disadvantaged students in D.C.
Arne Ducnan was Obama’s bud in Chicago by the way. Duncan’s grade school alma mater is the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (you guessed it –a Private School) and he was also the CEO of Chicago Public Schools (cough cough).
Would you like to meet some of the children whose lives will change forever because of this decision?
Meet Sarah and James Parker. They attended Sidwell with your daughters.
Their mother Deborah Parker worries that end of the voucher program would mean that Sarah and James would have to leave Sidwell which would be emotionally unsettling to say the least.
“I once took Sarah to Roosevelt High School to see its metal detectors and security guards,” Ms. Parker says. “I wanted to scare her into appreciation for what she has at Sidwell.” It’s not just safety, either. According to the latest test scores, fewer than half of Roosevelt’s students are proficient in reading or math.”
I also would like you to meet another student who benefited from the D.C. vouchers scholarships. “Mercedes C.” who appeared on the Fox News Glenn Beck Program this March.
On April 14 from a Washington Post editorial this weekend:
Education Secretary Arne Duncan has decided not to admit any new students to the D.C. voucher program, which allows low-income children to attend private schools. The abrupt decision — made a week after 200 families had been told that their children were being awarded scholarships for the coming fall — comes despite a new study showing some initial good results for students in the program and before the Senate has had a chance to hold promised hearings. For all the talk about putting children first, it’s clear that the special interests that have long opposed vouchers are getting their way.
Officials who manage the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program sent letters this week to parents notifying them that the scholarships of up to $7,500, were being rescinded because of the decision by the Education Department. Citing the political uncertainty surrounding vouchers, a spokesperson for Mr. Duncan told us that it is not in the best interest of students and their parents to enroll them in a program that may end a year from now.
Thanks to Mr. Duncan, it seems that Sasha and Malia Obama will have no one to share their extra cookies with at lunch.
I certainly hope that these children have a smoother transition into the public school system than I did.
Meanwhile back on Hopey Change Island, President Obama continues to “walk” miracles while BO the White House puppy gets extra cookies leftover from those many school lunches that the Obama girls have no one to share with.