As I move through our community – and the nation, to be honest – folk stop me to talk about what is going on in schools here in Baton Rouge. Whether you believe it or not, we live in a pretty unique city AND folk are really watching what is happening here. Did you know that of the 100 largest cities in the United States, Baton Rouge is the eighth-most racially segregated and, in the South, we are the second-most racially segregated?* I am writing this BEFORE the October 12, 2019 primary election here in Baton Rouge where a new city is on the ballot, which might make these statistics even more glaring. In a recently completed Landscape Analysis, researchers at TNTP said, when studying the Baton Rouge region, they found “…a region with unique strengths as well as deep-seated inequities.” They went on to say that, “Access to educational opportunity in the metro Baton Rouge area is far too dependent on the color of a student’s skin and the wealth of their family, thanks to decades of institutional racism, de facto segregation, and divisions across socioeconomic status.”
Who knew? *(Typed in my most sarcastic tone possible!)*
The TNTP research has not been widely shared but you can CLICK HERE to download the full report. It’s a long read but here are the cliff notes version of findings:
If you have been tuned in to #UrbanEdBR | @UrbanEd on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and here at www.UrbanEdBR.com …these findings should come as no surprise to you. We have been relentlessly discussing these topics to get folk agitated about the inequities prevalent in our system of public schools. I’m not sure we are there yet but…we plan to keep working at it.
While agitation is NECESSARY, I am clear that it, alone, is NOT SUFFICENT for us to address the lack of education opportunity for children in Baton Rouge.
We must work TOWARDS SOLUTIONS.
Ultimately, hundreds of millions of our tax dollars are being spent, to hire thousands of humans, who should be bringing forth solutions to help our children realize their absolute genius. This is what SHOULD BE HAPPENING !!! We need new leadership in East Baton Rouge Parish Schools and I am excited that the school board has started to take steps to find a bold, equity minded Superintendent to lead our schools in 2020 and beyond. So, my TOP SOLUTION is for the school board to HIRE A GOOD SUPERINTENDENT!!!
[Pro Civic Tip: You should get involved in the process to hire this person. You can attend this event on Monday, October 21st as a starting point for involvement]
Because of their in-depth research, TNTP proposed some good solutions as well:
We would love to learn from you. What solutions do you have that might help our system of schools transform itself into one that gives ALL CHILDREN the opportunity to realize absolute genius? Please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.
As detailed in Brown University’s American Communities Project (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-most-diverse-cities-are-oftenthe-most-segregated/#fn-8)