Over the past couple of weeks, I have written about the dismal state of high school education in the Austin community. This sad state of affairs was brought about by the asinine actions of the CPS Board of Education. These actions are an example of the negative effects of the past 12 years of dictatorship that is the Chicago Public Schools system.
In 1995 the state legislature placed Chicago Public Schools under the complete control of the mayor of the City of Chicago. Any time one person has complete control of a public entity, even if that one person were me or you, it is a dictatorship.
Bill Gates is helping to bankroll this Renaissance 2010 program. One of the conditions Gates has set for his efforts to improve education in this country is that there must be citizen participation. Renaissance 2010 has been implemented entirely within the black community, which did not participate in its development. Renaissance 2010 was developed by downtown white folks. The Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago developed a 2003 report called “Left Behind,” which became the template for the mayor’s Renaissance 2010 program.
Communities like Austin had no opportunity to participate in the decisions that would drastically affect the educational process in Austin. This kind of putdown happens because the powers-that-be have no respect for the people of this community or the officials we elect to represent us. It seems that this community is prepared to endure any kind of injustice without a whimper. Our insult level seems to be in free fall. Maybe some day, hopefully before too long, we will reach the limit of our endurance, and say enough!
Frederick Douglass informed us that “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and never will. Show me the exact amount of wrong and injustices that are visited upon a person, and I will show you the exact amount of wrong endured by these people.”
There is one hopeful sign: Some people in the Austin community have decided to take the lemons that CPS have visited upon us and make lemonade. To wit, since the Board of Ed decided to close our community high school, privatize it, and turn it over to white folk for them to make money, many have begun to call for a new high school. Only two new high schools have been built on the West Side since the 19th century-Orr and Collins. And, yes you guessed it, both have been closed, privatized, and turned over to whites so they can make money.
The entire Austin community should join the efforts to ensure that a comprehensive, state-of-the-art high school is built in Austin at this time in the 21st century.
Now that would be some lemonade that our children and the entire community could enjoy.