Chicago Teachers Union president Stacy Davis Gates is sending one of her children to a private school.
“It was a very difficult decision for us because there is not a lot to offer Black youth who are entering high school,” in Chicago, she said, according to WBEZ. “In many of our schools on the South Side and the West Side, the course offerings are very marginal and limited. Then the other thing, and it was a very strong priority, was his ability to participate in co-curricular and extracurricular activities, which quite frankly, don’t exist in many of the schools, high schools in particular.”
In a statement posted on the union’s website, Davis Gates noted that her two daughters are still attending public school.
And while Gates has chosen private school for her son, she is no fan of school choice policies.
“Our critics want you to believe that ‘school choice’ is a black-and-white issue that lacks nuance and hard choices for people like us, Black families – especially when you are parenting a Black boy in America,” she said in the statement. “For my husband and me, it forced us to send our son, after years of attending a public school, to a private high school so he could live out his dream of being a soccer player while also having a curriculum that can meet his social and emotional needs, even as his two sisters remain in Chicago Public Schools.”
“We will continue to oppose siphoning public school resources off to private institutions through voucher programs,” she declared in the statement.
In a recent interview, she seemed to describe school choice and privatization proponents “fascists.”
“Do you have concerns about school-choice and privatization supporters running for the school board, and a strategy to oppose that?” South Side Weekly asked. The outlet noted in the piece that the exchange as printed had been edited for clarity and length.
“Yes, we are concerned about the encroachment of fascists in Chicago. We are concerned about the marginalization of public education through the eyes of those who’ve never intended for Black people to be educated. So we’re going to fight tooth and nail to make sure that type of fascism and racism does not exist on our Board of Education,” Davis Gates said while responding to the question.
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