On Wednesday, October 5, NewsOne Now host and managing editor Roland S. Martin continued the important discussion around educating African American children that began with his documentary, "The New Orleans Charter School Revolution: Ten Years After Katrina” by convening a panel of education experts and advocates for the inaugural School Choice: The Black Choice town hall session at Howard University in Washington, DC.
This event will be televised in two parts on Oct. 21 and 28, on TV One. Please check your local listing for times.
Martin moderated the event and lead participants through a discussion on charter schools and school choice. The dialogue was designed to enable parents in multicultural communities to be better informed about public education and take control of their children’s future.
During the two-hour panel, Martin featured an array of educators, advocates and opponents of educational reform to discuss the controversial issue of charters, vouchers and the school choice movement within the Black community. Among those on the panel: Dr. Steve Perry, Principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School; NAACP President Cornell Brooks; former director of DC Association of Charter Schools Dr. Ramona Edelin; Russlyn Ali, former Assistant Sec. for Civil Rights at the U.S. Dept. of Education; Exec VP of Florida Education Association, Fred Ingram and Troy LaRaviere, former Principal at the number one rated neighborhood school in Chicago.
"School Choice Is The Black Choice", is a national initiative designed to rally Black parents to take control of their children’s future. Roland, along with his wife, the Rev. Dr. Jacquie Hood Martin, launched the program, through her non-profit, J. Hood and Associates. The Martin's work with other education advocates to illuminate the issues of America’s K-12 education system and how successful charters can be a boon for the Black community. In addition, the project will celebrate families that have been transformed by the ability to access high-quality schools and a more equitable education system.
As an ambassador of the school choice movement, Roland Martin says it’s imperative that Black parents fully embrace all aspects of education, and advocate for what works best for their children. He says that the school choice/ed reform movement desperately need Black voices leading it, especially when it comes to mobilizing and organizing African Americans to make their voices heard about the education of their children. ”If you are standing in the way of kids getting a quality education, even if you wear the liberal/progressive label, you are the enemy,” said Roland Martin. “I’m sick and tired of seeing Black kids travel through traditional schools with little or no road to success. I’m a product of traditional public and magnet schools. For me, I care about what works. Traditional public, charter, private, magnet, home school, online schools, vouchers, I really don’t care. If it works for the parent and the child, I’m down with it.”
For more information about School Choice: The Black Choice Town Hall Meetings, visitwww.schoolchoiceistheblackchoice.com.
Author: Aprill O. Turner