We previously discussed the controversial position of Alison Collins, vice president of the San Francisco School Board, in her campaign against meritocracy and efforts to end talented programs at Lowell High School. The Asian community was particularly opposed to Collins’ efforts, as Asian students made up 29 percent of the student body but 51 percent of the Lowell student body. Now Collins is under fire because previous tweets attacked Asians in an attempt to promote “the” model minority “BS and” use white supremacist thinking to assimilate and “get ahead”. ”
These do not appear as recent tweets, but their content is obviously offensive to any Asian American. The Yahoo News story included tweets accusing “many Asian Americans, teachers and students” of promoting “the model minority” BS and using “white supremacist thinking” to assimilate and “get” ahead . ‘”It also involves a demand to know”[w]Here are the vocal Asians speaking against Trump? “And statements about how Asians are mistaken by not speaking out against former President Donald Trump:” Don’t Asian Americans know that they are on his list too? ” Collins continued. “Do you think you will not be deported? profiled? beaten? Being a house is still a house. You are still considered “the help”.
While the use of the censored version of the “n-word” has resulted in calls for graduates to quit, I don’t think such objections are fair in this or the previous cases. Indeed, this controversy should not detract from the campaign against meritocracy and efforts to remove programs for advanced or gifted students in the public school system. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a supporter of public schools for a long time. These advanced programs are needed to maintain a broad, diverse, and vibrant school system for cities like San Francisco.
Racial policy appears to be a focus at all levels of the school system, even in regulating student elections. Likewise, the San Francisco controversy follows another controversy in Los Angeles in which United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) Cecily Myart-Cruz also criticized “Middle Eastern” parents for joining “white parents” in their search for school openings . The UTLA came under fire after Maryam Qudrat, a Middle Eastern mother, was asked by the UTLA to identify her race after criticizing the union’s opposition to reopening schools despite the fact that the science was overwhelming that she was safe is. These efforts to racially classify critics of the teachers followed Myart-Cruz, who attacked critics by referring to their race:
“Some voices are allowed to speak louder than others. We need to highlight the privilege behind the largely white wealthy parents who drive the urge to return quickly. Your experience of this pandemic is not the experience of our students’ families. “
Statements from representatives of the school board and the teachers’ union are clearly fueling racist tensions and divisions at a time when public schools are facing enormous challenges. For Asian families (who make up roughly one-third of the families in the San Fran school system), Collins’s remarks are rightly troubling as they struggle for their children’s educational progress. It is just the opposite of what most of us seek in our public school systems as a synthesis of diverse cultures and races. While districts like San Francisco have prioritized renaming schools in the middle of a pandemic (until recently forced to suspend efforts), families simply want to maintain an education system that is focused on academic excellence and progress.
As I mentioned earlier, many of us still believe in a diverse and thriving public school system. I grew up in Chicago during the massive exodus of white families from the public school system and stayed in public schools for much of my early education. My parents organized a group to persuade wealthy families to stay in the system. They feared that if such families left public schools would not only lose diversity, but also political influence and support. They also wanted their children to benefit from this diversity. My wife and I believe in this thing too, and we kept our four children in public schools through college. We believe that public education plays a key role in our national identity and citizenship. They shape our next generation of citizens. My children have benefited greatly from the public schools and the many caring and talented teachers they have taught over the years.
I hope that Parents of All Races in San Francisco can assert themselves to re-align the school system with educational progress. We have too much at stake for our children and our country if parents allow this kind of reckless and abusive rhetoric to get them to abandon our public school system.