Adding Color to the Education-Reform Debate

Because students of color will be most affected by state education-budget cuts, Seattle Times columnist Lynne K. Varner encourages their parents to engage in the reform debate.


In a blog entry at the Seattle Times, columnist Lynne K. Varner urges people of color to get involved in the education-reform debate because it is their children who are most likely to be affected by state education-budget cuts.

My latest column encourages people of color to engage in the education reform debate. While I use charter schools as an example, reform-inspired changes to federal, state and local education laws go beyond autonomy in some public schools.

According to OSPI, most of the budget cuts coming in our state will directly impact students of color and students in poverty, at the same time that we're in the bottom 5 states in the nation for how well our public schools are addressing the needs of students of color. This 2008 state report gives a sense of the challenges facing our state's educational system. U.S. Census figures point to Washington as one of the fastest browning states in the nation. We're in the bottom 5 states in the nation for how well our public schools are addressing the needs of students of color.

[D]iversity CNN reports that nationwide, more than 1.6 million public school students attend nearly 5,000 publicly funded, independently operated charter schools. As of 2008, African Americans made up 15 percent of students in traditional public schools, versus 29 percent of those enrolled in charter schools.

Read Lynne K. Varner's entire column at the Seattle Times.

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