Paige said America has come a long way on race relations in a short period of time. The former teacher-in-chief gave the United States a grade of B for advancing civil rights — and pointedly recognized the progress made in his native Mississippi.
He said discrimination still exists, but described it as “episodic,” not government-sanctioned and systemic.
“There are opportunities out there. The doors are open now. The ceilings are broken,” he said.
He said President Obama’s election — as well as his own success — provide powerful lessons that black people are prospering as productive and equal citizens in 21st century America.
While celebrating the racial progress, Paige — who helped craft the federal No Child Left Behind Law — said there’s more work to be done. He said if King were here today, he would agree that “closing the racial achievement gap in education is the civil-rights issue of our time.”
Education, said Paige, can help overcome the cycle of poverty and dysfunction that has held back many minorities.
King would likely call Paige a “drum major for justice” — dedicating his life to helping provide better educational opportunities to children, particularly minorities in poor urban areas.
Notice the dog whistle words meant to appeal to the education reform free marketeers in Paige's MLK Jr. account.
King would agree that closing "the racial achievement gap in education is the civil-rights issue of our time."
King would pat Paige on the back for being a "drum major for justice" who helped bring "better educational opportunities" to "minorities in poor urban areas."
Those are the buzzwords the corporate education reformers use all the time to justify privatizing the public education system - the "racial achievement gap" in test scores and graduation rates is alarmingly high, it is the "civil rights issue of our time," we can solve that issue by bringing "better educational opportunities" to "minorities in poor urban areas" (i.e., by closing public schools, firing the unionized teachers, opening charter schools, hiring non-unionized TFAers who can be fired at will.)
In short, Paige is claiming MLK would be on board with NCLB, RttT and the rest of the corporate education reform agenda.
Can't you hear it?
I have a dream that every child will be tested in every subject in every grade all the year through so that their teachers can be evaluated, their data can be collected and tracked, vendors can be provided that data to better provide on line educational tools and assessments so that we can close the "racial achievement gap" and finally live in a land where children of all races, religions, colors and creeds enjoy similar test scores.
The March on Washington as brought to us by Rod "Houston Miracle" Paige.
Why isn't he up on charges along with Beverly Hall for fraud?
You can read about Paige's education reform miracle when he was running the Houston school district here.
Like Eva Moskowitz at Harlem Success Academy, Rod Paige knows that "success" in education comes by subtracting the "problem students' from your statistics.
I wonder what Paige thinks King would say about that.