The first meeting of Class War was excellent! We touched on major themes of individualism versus collectivism in education; how schools perpetuate inequality—but are not the only mechanisms to do so; and how childhood became swindled and privatized through baseless fear-mongering and bipartisan legislation, and how in many ways this privatization hurts all of us—teachers and students, working class and middle class, and black and white. The privatization (or denial) of childhood comes at the detriment to everyone, but more clearly hurts and hinders historically marginalized populations.
We discussed the racialized and class dynamics of schools, drawing from our collective experiences in charter schools, traditional public schools, magnet schools, and the most bourgeois private schools. In so doing, we discussed how geography, city policy, and non-profits have shaped these experiences. We discussed the tension and anxiety that surround questions of school choice, and this NYT Magazine article was brought up as an example of how we all want to see the best for our children, but it is not always clear on how to reconcile that with our progressive missions to want the best for other people’s children and communities. Further suggested reading is Marketing Cities, Marketing Schools which is focused on Philadelphia and the Center City Schools Initiative.