To: Valeria Silva, Superintendant, Saint Paul Public Schools
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re: How You Can Superintendantsplain Things To Your Black Students
In the immediate aftermath of the Ferguson Grand Jury release, you tweeted:
No indictment for officer Wilson! Very sad day in America. How do I explain this to my black students?
I’m here to help. You can start by explaining to them…:
- The reasons Saint Paul – despite spending more money per student than almost every district in the state – continues to have among the worst black student achievement gaps in the country. Worse even than other urban toilets like Detroit or Philadelphia.
- You can explain why it is you support the current school board, which – being elected city-wide rather than by ward, is thus under the complete control of the DFL vote machine, and thus represents the wishes and whims of the city’s Crocus Hill DFL elite; lots of gnashing of teeth about multiculturalism and the morality of Junior ROTC, and absolutely nothing about pulling “your black students” up. You could explain why you aren’t actively working to return the school board to a ward-based system.
- You can explain to them, maybe, that while there are bad cops, there is also nothing in the world more stupid and unpredictable than an 18 year old boy, and that even if a cop is bad (and I’m not saying Office Wilson was), provoking them is a really really bad plan.
- Explain that rioting is a good way to get a good chunk of society to swing from “middling to sympathetic” to “loading up with birdshot and walking their sidewalks with their neighbors”.
- Perhaps you should explain the reasons that Saint Paul shouldn’t follow New Orleans’ lead, shut down the public school system, and go all charter? Because the African-American community in NOLA – much bigger than in Saint Paull, btw – is doing much better since they did exactly that. Three reasons will do.
Let me know if you need more help. Being a public bureaucrat, I’m sure you rarely have to deal with the actual public.