It is ironic that we continue to celebrate the fourth of July in the spirit of Freedom and Liberty. Take a look at our School systems in Jersey City, Newark, Paterson, Camden, Englewood, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Baltimore, Boston, Oakland and others around the country.
Now the question is, why aren't other students getting the education that I and other successful students received? You have many students graduating, but can't fill out job applications, are not at their proper reading and math level, and are not prepared for college and careers.
Here in Jersey City, the State is in charge and there is still no progress over many years. Along comes this Education Reform nonsense and its getting out of hand. Things are getting worse under these reforms, yet people are getting richer from the lucrative contracts and the prison industrial complex that feeds off of the failure of this new education system that I call the New Tuskegee Experiment.
As a young black man who grew up in a Public Housing Project, I had few options for a successful future. But, as I learned things from home, Head Start, grade school and through college, I saw my Education as an opportunity to help myself, my family, my community and potentially, the world. I saw that with education, no one can take it from you once you have it and it is empowering as well.
My education and God's blessings have given me tremendous opportunities and best of all, True Freedom. I can actually feel the spirit of my ancestors praising God for helping me get over and I take with me every day the knowledge that as slaves, they were killed for trying to read. That image alone gives me perspective on how important Education is.
So as I look at my Jersey City Public Schools today, I see that the students and their success are not the focus at Central Office. Yet we know that the future of Jersey City itself depends on the success of its students because they will be the future caretakers and decision makers. Most disappointing is the fact that I cannot deny the separate and unequal education students are getting in the Jersey City Public Schools.
Education quality and opportunity cannot be determined by your zip code or your color or your income. Education itself is not discriminatory or unfair, but those who are entrusted to administer Education have been, and this must stop. The price of Education inequity is too high and should not exist in a country that holds itself to be the beacon of freedom and opportunity.
With that said, I am officially announcing my candidacy for the Jersey City School Board election on November 5, 2013. The education I received in this very same school district was a great opportunity for me and I owe it to all the students of Jersey City to ensure they get a fair shot at a quality education as well.