Dr. King and Public Education

Today Diane Ravitch has made several posts to her blog that mark Martin Luther King Day.

The first [http://dianeravitch.net/2015/01/19/in-honor-of-dr-martin-luther-king-jr/] provides a link to Dr. King’s speech that was the culmination of the March on Washington [http://www.ibtimes.com/mlk-i-have-dream-speech-full-text-read-martin-luther-kings-entire-march-washington-1787100 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs], as well as to the text of his “Letter from a Birmingham City Jail” [http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu:5801/transcription/document_images/undecided/630416-019.pdf].

The second [http://dianeravitch.net/2015/01/19/yohuru-williams-what-would-dr-king-say-about-the-corporate-assault-on-public-education/] links to a post by Yohuru Williams, who strongly disputes the frequent claims that so-called “school reform” represents progress on civil rights:

“Yohuru Williams, professor of history at Fairfield University, has written a brilliant and powerful piece about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the current effort to privatize large sectors of public education, especially in urban districts.

“He scoffs at the idea that turning public schools over to private management is ‘the civil rights issue of our time,’ as so many ‘reformers’ say. He cites a number of statements by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that claim the mantle of civil rights for policies that actually exacerbate segregation.

“He cites Dr. King at length to show that he would not have supported the use of standardized testing as a means of ‘reform.’”

Williams’ piece is available at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/01/18/public-schools-under-attack-what-would-martin-say.


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