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Education is the Best Opportunity

Education is the Best Opportunity


Some things become clichés because they are true. One of these historic truths is that education is the great equalizer in the United States. We all know stories of people who were poor and, due to a dedicated parent, grandparent or relative, achieved greatly because of their education.

Unfortunately, we also know stories about far too many children trapped in underachieving schools and thus denied the opportunity to achieve great things.

To offer poor children in underachieving schools the opportunity to attend a better school, the state of Louisiana instituted by state law a program that would allow students in bad schools the chance to transfer to higher quality schools. Most of the families who want to take advantage of this program are African-American. As the program begins this semester, an attempt is being made to kill it and return these students to inferior schools.

Who could possibly benefit from taking away an opportunity for a higher quality education from these students? It is hard to believe anyone would be that mean. The parents and the students only want to take advantage of this new program in Louisiana. Doing anything to stop them seems like a cruel joke. But it isn’t.

The villain in this story is the U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder.

The Justice Department filed suit in court to stop these children from getting a better opportunity for a quality education. It seems hard to believe that they could find any reason to punish these families. And clearly, it was hard for them to invent such a reason. But invent one they did.

This would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. See if you can follow this logic. Louisiana allows students in failing schools to transfer out of those schools. Parents and their children take advantage of this program to get a better education. Most of the students taking advantage of this program to improve their chances for a better education are African-American. When the students leave their failing schools, those schools become, by the slightest percentage, more white. This change in the percentage of black students in these failing schools violates some racial standard set by the Justice Department. So Eric Holder sues Louisiana to force these students back into failing schools, no matter the consequence to the students who are just hoping for a better chance in life.

It makes a mockery of the President’s stated desire to improve opportunities for students having to be educated in poor schools.

I am cheering for Louisiana, and the parents and the students who are striving for a better education and a chance to prove the cliché that education provides opportunity to achieve greatly in America. I wish Mr. Holder was.

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