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Opinion | By Erica Brannon
Education has always been its, own, currency as a means of defining success or wealth for oneself. Our ancestors knew the value of a good education. Our grandparents knew this as well even though they were not allowed to send their children to a preferred school; however, that generation was a unique community – built around education, so they had people who taught because they saw the signs that edification will keep their community empowered.
Presently, African American parents have school choice which has proven to be a success across the board, since 2012 (See Just the FAQs – Charter Schools.) school choice has leveled the educational playing field in for young learners whose parents are of low-income and cannot afford to move to neighborhoods that have the sufficient resources in providing a high quality education. However, some people argue that charter schools are hurting the public school systems causing public schools not to thrive and chasing away teachers from within the system.
Then we have those on the opposite side who believe school choice has been a great success, an inspiration for competition – and yes – an attraction for attracting highly-qualified teachers as well.
Deciding where to send children to school is a parents’ right! Not to mention, choosing where to send a child to school is a crucial one and is a social determinate in whether a child grows into a successful individual or falls into the school-to-prison pipeline.
Hence, whose better to determine the needs of a child than the parent? Parents who are involved know the needs of their child. They are familiar with their abilities, shortcomings, and social competencies. So why wouldn’t a parent want to put their child in the best situation for a maximum outcome?
Education itself is a whole other beast. As I stated earlier, our earlier ancestors knew the value of a good education. As a result, they stepped forward to keep the community literate.
Unfortunately, today, we’re facing teachers leaving the state in droves, not because they don’t love to teach, but because they, themselves, cannot afford to stay in the position. For them to stay, they have to financially adjust their lives in such a manner that is substandard within a profession that is truly commendable. Moreover, while charter schools are quickly proving to be a success for African Americans, the struggle to attract and retain educator’s as whole, especially the black ones, is the weakness of the public educational system.
Admirably and unlike many western countries and neighboring states, many teachers come into this field knowing this line of work in Oklahoma knowing it is a position that will not gain them riches. They understand that they are sacrificing themselves to deposit critical thinking and academic currency into tomorrow’s leaders. As a whole, our leaders need to stop the bureaucracy and fix this massive exit of our educational system, so the education structure is a strenth, and not a weakness, for our society.