Article first published as Book Review: ‘An Unbroken Educational Apartheid Legacy’ by David E. Morgan, Ph.D. on Blogcritics.
“An Unbroken Educational Apartheid Legacy” by Dr. David E. Morgan provides information and insight not only to the people of Chicago, but to everyone in the United States who cares about equality in education. The author offers extensive research, and history that backs his ideas and shows the desperate need of serious change to Chicago’s South Suburban education system, as well as many other educational systems throughout the United States. There is much comparison with general civil rights, and the lack of support black communities receive for education.
A critical part of changing and improving the educational system in Chicago is the school board. Without a strong, passionate and educated school board, decisions are often based on political interests, or business and personal interests, instead of what is in the best interest of the students. Dr. Morgan states in his book that “Today, we must shift from who is right to what is important. A great board will work on fixing the problem instead of merely fixing the blame.” Ineffective school boards are comprised of people more interested in their own interests, or political gain, than making real change for the students they serve. The author says that this is a fundamental problem with the educational system in Chicago. School boards must have individuals who will “…destroy ignorance (by being) better trained, more prepared, and deeply engaged in the essential work to be done to turn our schools around from failure to success.” Without strong leaders who genuinely care about improved change, nothing is going to get better for the students.
One suggestion for improvement includes bringing in an independent consultant to help create an evaluation instrument for the superintendent of the school district, so the evaluation is based on the critical factors of job performance. The goals of the superintendent need to be clearly stated and evaluated. These goals should not only be aligned with the goals of the district, but should include ways to integrate the “Five Essentials”, which are missing in low performing school districts. The Five Essentials include effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environments, and ambitious instruction.
As a former educator and school administrator, I agree whole-heartedly with Dr. Morgan’s ideas about improving the school district on the South side of Chicago, which is predominately black. I recommend “An Unbroken Educational Apartheid Legacy” to any school leaders looking for real change. There needs to be serious change taking place, starting with the school boards, the election process, and the accountability of the board, the superintendent, and all other leaders in the district. With passionate people, these changes can happen. I hope for the sake of the children that they do. They deserve it.