Annual Fundraising Appeal

Here’s an important message to CounterPunch readers from
BARBARA EHRENREICH…

BarbaraE

Here at CounterPunch we love Barbara Ehrenreich for many reasons: her courage, her intelligence and her untarnished optimism. Ehrenreich knows what’s important in life; she knows how hard most Americans have to work just to get by, and she knows what it’s going to take to forge radical change in this country. We’re proud to fight along side her in this long struggle.  We hope you agree with Barbara that CounterPunch plays a unique role on the Left. Our future is in your hands. Please donate.

Day8

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
button-store2_19

or use
pp1

 To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

A Moral Disgrace

Unequal Education

by JESSE JACKSON

The Department of Education just released its annual study on civil rights in our education system. The report, Attorney General Eric Holder summarized, “shows that racial disparities in school discipline policies are not only well-documented among older students but actually begin during preschool.”

Pre-school? Yes, from preschool on, boys of color are disproportionately afflicted by suspensions and zero-tolerance policies in school. They are more likely to be disciplined, more likely to be suspended, and more likely to be held back a grade. Suspended students are less likely to graduate on time and more likely to be suspended a second time. They are more likely to drop out, and to end up in trouble.

The report shows that preschool is not a reality for much of the country, particularly in poorer districts. Where it does exist, students of color — blacks and Latinos — are more likely to be suspended. This has been documented repeatedly in older grades, but now we learn it starts even in preschool.

And that’s not all. The report documents a continuing and shameful catalog of racial disparity: Black and Latino students are more likely to have teachers with less experience and lower pay. African Americans, Latinos and students with disabilities are less likely to have access to the full range of science and math courses. Why? Schools with large minority populations often don’t offer the most upper-range curricula in those areas. They’re also less likely to have a full-time counselor.

Zero tolerance. Inexperienced and poorly paid teachers. Less support. Less access to advanced courses. The odds are stacked against these kids from preschool on.

And that isn’t all. Children of color are more likely to grow up in poverty, less likely to have adequate health care, less likely to have good nutrition, less likely to live in safe neighborhoods and more likely to be homeless.

African Americans still have less access to credit and were often targeted for dicey mortgages in the housing bubble, and they suffer higher rates of unemployment and mortgage foreclosures.

None of this is a surprise. None of it is in doubt. The report isn’t a revelation; it is a validation of a “whereas” that is already known. What has been lacking isn’t evidence of disparity, it is evidence of action. The “whereas” is supposed to lead to a “therefore,” but we’ve seen precious little of that.

Is anyone listening? We are condemning another generation to poverty, despair, broken homes and broken families. We are writing off children — starting in preschool — without giving them a fair shot.

We have a continuing racial crisis in this country — or rather, a crisis of class and race. Schools of poor children are shortchanged. And children, particularly boys of color, face even greater odds against them.

We need remedy for these racial disparities and resources for these class disparities. Parents need to challenge aggressively discriminatory discipline practices. Communities need to join together to demand an end to the savage inequality in schools. We need more resources targeted to the schools with the most need.

A sensible public program would ensure the poor children have the same opportunity that affluent ones have. They would get the most experienced and skilled teachers, not the least of them. Their schools would get more resources to have smaller classes, particularly in the early grades, and modern facilities that include counselors and host after-school programs, parental engagement and education. We’d take aggressive steps to ensure that children have secure housing, good nutrition and high quality health care. And we’d crack down on the discriminatory and destructive discipline policies that are discarding our children rather than taking them in and lifting them up.

This is a moral disgrace. It is also a national folly. Children of color are together the future majority, not the minority.

Jesse Jackson is the founder of Rainbow/PUSH.