ruby bridges

A public school system that is open to everyone has been established in the United States and Ruby Bridges helped bring that about.  Moving toward a more community-based model with more flexibility is the next step and one that can now be made since this important precedent of equal access has been achieved.  Now that we have everyone onboard, we can move toward making schools truly democratic learning centers that provide all families real choices. Not by fragmentation of charters, not by the faux choice of vouchers, but by allowing each and every child and family real choices on the ground in every single school.

We can build healthier social relationships when families and students have the space and control to interact as they choose.  The macro work of ending official racial apartheid in schools has been accomplished (though de facto segregation is again the norm). But the micro-level work of building a stronger social fabric will require a different model.  More flexible, user-oriented schools would allow families and children control over the mass socialization within the highly centralized system. And that could make real changes in communities that still struggle with racism.

President Obama Meets Civil Rights Icon Ruby Bridges | The White House
"Bridges was at the White House to see how a painting commemorating this personal and historic milestone looks hanging on the wall outside of the Oval Office. American artist Norman Rockwell was criticized by some when this painting first appeared on the cover of Look magazine on January 14,1964; now the iconic portrait will be on display throughout the summer of 2011 in one of the most exalted locations in the country. "

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