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What you said about what we said last week
Our cover story on African-American homeschooled children by Jonetta Rose Barras elicited a thoughtful response from Linda Moore, founder and former Executive Director of the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School. “At Stokes School, we applaud parents who are sufficiently engaged with their children’s education to successfully shepherd them through home-schooling.” However, she writes, “I hope that no one automatically makes the assumption that one child’s unsuccessful experience at [Stokes] means that the school is insensitive to African-American students.” Her letter is worth reading in its entirely and can be found at the bottom of this post. The article also touched a nerve with some readers. Specifically, as JM wrote on our site, race doesn’t seem like a legitimate reason to pull one’s kid from public school. “Isn’t DCPS already ~90% staffed by African-Americans? Ironic that these parents are pleading racial insensitivity as grounds for withdrawing their kids.” Not quite, JM. The position taken here is that structural and institutional racism are working against minority parents and kids, and, as the parents discussed with Barras, extends to the curriculum itself. But what about the kids? Are children always better off when schooled by parents? Commenter Adams Morgan questioned the basic tenets of homeschooling: “what worries me are the social aspects. I know home school collaboratives work hard to provide the social aspects missed by not being in a traditional setting, but it doesn’t matter how many after school programs/extracurriculars your student is in, they are still missing out on learning how to deal with (for better or worse) other people on a daily basis, many of who look nothing like them.”
Other readers questioned the utility of low-income housing, the issue raised in Aaron Wiener’s column “Use It or Lose It” on the District Opportunity to Purchase Act. chris8lee took to the comments section to gripe, “for once and for all, it’s not the DC gov’ts business or interest to maintain a large low income demographic. there is not that much need for CVS workers and Walmart clerks.” But chris8lee, you keep using that word “low income.” I do not think it means what you think it means. As NonStopSki pointed out: “In DC, low income housing… are offered to folks making 40-55k a year, depending on how many dependents/residents they have. Those folks aren’t CVS workers and Walmart clerks. They’re people with degrees, high skill jobs, usually college educated. They’re white, black, brown, hispanic, etc, and they’re young, old, middle aged, single, married, with kids, without kids…. it makes plenty of sense for a city to have a stock of affordable housing that allows people to move up financially as they get more experience in the workforce (and therefore, make more money). Just today WCP had a link to a study showing DC rent prices are rising much faster than incomes are in the district. That’s not a sustainable path for a city to continue to prosper and grow.”
Department of Corrections
John Anderson’s feature on the National Gallery’s Piero di Cosimo exhibition contained two reporting errors: Samuel H. Kress purchased three Piero paintings at a 1938 gallery show in New York, not four; and there are 20 Piero works in North America, not 19.