Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ending poverty easy. Just end private schools.

Imagine if wealthy kids, the children of political leaders and diplomats, and those of high paid executives all had to attend the same schools that inner city kids attend.

Things would change quickly.

This blog article by Michelle Rhee is Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools, offers this and many other challenges, saying "The obstacle is not one of knowledge but of social and political will, with education as the lynchpin."

What I don't see in this article is a vision, or a strategy, for increasing the number of people who don't live in poverty who will read articles like this, then become part of the "team of adults who decided it was possible for lives and outcomes to move in other direction"

In her article, Rhee is referring to people in schools who make a commitment to do something different. I'm referring to the people beyond schools who become tutors/mentors, business partners, donors, and make a network of non-school supports available in inner city neighborhoods.

Such a network of programs can expand the number of adults who become personally engaged, and who begin to see poverty through the eyes of the kids they mentor. When these people begin to get involved, in large enough numbers, we'll expand the number of people who are reading and responding to blogs written by Rhees and others.

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