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Fenty, Rhee Talk Education in Memphis

Mayor Fenty didn't have any public events on his schedule yesterday, a rarity. The reason? He and school Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee traveled to Memphis to participate in Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network's national conference, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death.

Mayor Adrian Fenty, former D.C. Council member Kevin Chavous and Chancellor Michelle Rhee at a panel discussion yesterday in Memphis. (Photo by Matthew Craig - Commercial Appeal)

D.C. Wire did not have a correspondent at the scene, but fortunately former Washington Post intern Dakarai Aarons, now a staff writer for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, was on hand and filed this report.

By David A Nakamura  |  April 4, 2008; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  David Nakamura , Education , Mayor Fenty  
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Interesting piece on the Sharpton Education conference by Dakarie Aarons. I hope that there was some discussion about the role of parents and communities in education at the conference.

I agree that we need to weed out bad teachers and that we need to structure systems for success.

But I wonder if Fenty or Rhee mentioned the broad based gaps between how African American children and Caucasian children are doing in the same schools in DC. What is their take on is? How do we deal with the issue of these children in the same school often with the same teachers getting such different results?

I think part of the problem is that we have a generation of parents who were failed by our schools bringing up another generation of children and they don't know what to do to help their children. Just sending your child off to school for 12 years and hoping they come home educated isn't enough.

So we need to help parents help their children or we will lose another generation. I agree that a good public education is a right and that is what our nation is based on. To move forward we must give all people an equal opportunity to succeed. So listening to Howard Fuller, co-founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options,is a little depressing. In DC we have many charter schools and so far many of them have done no better in educating our children than the public schools. Also if we remove the children from our public schools who ostensibly have parents who are more involved, then how do we get to improve our public schools? The failure of the public schools then becomes a self fullfiling prophecy and the kids end up in education settings, many no better than the schools from which they came.

These are issues that need to be addressed and I hope the conference addressed them in some way.

Posted by: peterdc | April 7, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

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