Over the last few weeks I have been grappling with nagging conundrums about the current state of affairs, not only in the City of Cambridge, but in our country. The advent of social media, coupled with the 24-hour news cycle, has led many of us to forget or choose to ignore the importance (moral imperative) of being institution-building activists. became. Progressive approaches still have room to model the firm positions of our ancestors and elders. We have to enlist the help of Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Lani Guinier and Bob Moses. We have Janet Moses, Kathy Ann Reddick, Caroline Hunter, Ray Chartleff, Mel King, Ruby Pierce, Pam & Charles Ogletree Jr., Phyllis Bretholtz, and to name a few before we lose. must be humbled to sit at the feet of too many activist archetypes. Their institutional genius was not to death, but to our self-righteous egos who simply did not ask for help. We must continue to learn and build on their work while being privileged to do just that: learn.

It’s painfully clear that as a parent, I have to make reckless abandon and model marginal excellence for my children, not for them to emulate me, but ultimately to surpass their father. In undertaking this task of taking our children from being good to being great, we will work aggressively and relentlessly to ensure that the youth of our village are ten times more prepared than each of us. You have to prepare. As we continue to publicly lift the abundant resources given to this entire community, as alumni of Cambridge Public Schools, removed for 28 years, citizens who radically and unapologetically serve the needs of the people Don’t forget to be shy about your personal identity yet.All students. Somehow remains out of reach not only for students who inherently have the self-advocacy skills to appreciate the education available within a well-resourced system. Nor are many students whose family resources are placed in elite spaces starting with premier preschool. We have a lot of work to do to properly move our public school children from the good to the great while addressing the nuances that have influenced the In order to move forward, and to move forward, all parties dedicated to liberation must work in a structured, organized, coordinated, metric-driven chorus to unite and unlock the talents of each and every learner. Hm. It is equally important to address the structural racism and classism that exists in this community, despite the oversaturated, moderate debates of well-intentioned versus well-intentioned.

The Covid-induced shift to evacuation, living, and working where appropriate, coupled with the nationwide racial reckoning that followed the murder of George Floyd, has generated heated discourse. While video conferencing in our country and around the world, the pandemic kept us physically apart, but perhaps more people seemed to come together philosophically. One must have been very proud that systemic discrimination was exposed, or relieved that long-standing lamentations of racial violence were finally undeniable.

But now the discussion must go beyond Zoom calls and socially distanced town halls. An antidote not in the form of basketball or a block party that must move us from rhetoric to consequences as we have to address a broad academic gap between generations. Morale is built and maintained when the adults in the village roll up their sleeves and complete the work of human and civil rights icons past and present. They gave us the blueprint.

Educating the children of this village is not just the responsibility of the school administrators at 135 Berkshire Street, nor the school board alone. It must exist as a coordinated and coordinated multi-service provider effort, committed to excellence and rooted in metric-driven results. Working in partnership with city managers and city councils should be the collective strength of as many communities as possible. We have to stop charging MIT dollars. Then Harvard will cure all the sicknesses in our schools. Not only is it a misguided statement, it places the blame on others and shifts responsibility out of our control. No school, teacher, district, politician or program can save us. We must take the lead to reposition ourselves.

We have become a community that has eschewed the gravel by allowing new academic terms to turn us around in an instant. It’s time to get back to basics and operate under tough love . When students are struggling, it’s not just social pressure, it’s often exacerbated by repeated excuses for behavior by adults in our community. change is a failure. Too many adults lack the guts, and with children nearby, modeling that can prove to be a very difficult task.

Adults must tolerate a harsher attitude toward fellow parents who have harmed them by quitting learning or undoing bad experiences in education. We must act under the guise of a solution, not an accomplished soliloquy. The focus should be liberation. At this point, we are not emancipating our children, we are softening their ego.

We are once again given the rare opportunity to work differently, dream without limits, build beyond walls, and unleash ourselves as we pursue new dreams. -Wars over anti-racist doctrine, socio-emotional learning, or teaching through an impartial lens. All of these pillars are important and not mutually exclusive in providing a good education for our children. It’s time to say no more simply to other rhetoric-driven exercises that don’t bring. Let’s face it. School district leaders aren’t the only ones responsible for educational failures. As community members, we also share responsibility. For we have as poorly represented, performed and perpetuated a 24-hour education and learning village for our children. We are in favor of moving towards mission-driven, viable projects, with statistical data rolling out in plans that articulate short- and long-term needs. It’s time to move to a model of international and interconnected excellence.


Tony Clarke is co-founder and co-president of My Brothers Keeper, Cambridge, Task Force, and professor of African-American literature and learning communities.



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