Education figured prominently in the news over the past few days, both nationally and locally.
As a country, we marked the 60th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, the landmark ruling that separate was inherently unequal in education and which set American schools on the path to integration and parity. At least, that was how it was supposed to work. As we also heard repeatedly this weekend, the legacy of Brown has yet to be fulfilled. Here are reports from Policy Watch and from NPR, but there are plenty of others pointing out that our schools still fall disproportionately short in serving poor children and children of color. So not only are we failing on the promise of Brown, we are also failing on the present for these children.
We aren’t even talking about leveling the proverbial playing field here. We’re talking about making sure it doesn’t flood when it rains, isn’t pocked with career-ending divots, and isn’t turfed with sharp rocks and shards of glass. But we’re still falling short.
Better news for North Carolina teachers came from a judge’s injunction that blocked the legislature’s efforts to end what is commonly known as tenure. Robert Hobgood, a superior court judge, said a law passed last year violated constitutional rights protecting contracts. State Sen. Phil Berger said NC would appeal.
Clearly, this is a critical time in North Carolina and in the nation for public education, viewed as a bedrock of opportunity by social justice advocates. The Council’s Critical Issues Seminar on June 16 is focused on public education and what people of faith can do to support it. We hope you’ll join us in Chapel Hill for the all-day seminar and then travel to Raleigh and take part in the Moral Monday rally.
If you love a child in public schools, respect a teacher who goes above and beyond even as their professional status is undermined, or care about what North Carolina looks like in the future, we think you’ll find the Seminar valuable.