As an honor student who attended high performing schools my entire K-12 career, I was devastated when I got to college and found out I wasn’t ready. I thought I wasn’t smart enough. And I watched many of my high school classmates navigate those same doubts and insecurities. We felt duped.
So because the issue of a quality public education is personal and important to me, it kind of pisses me off when it comes off as a non-issue for elected officials—like in the Democratic candidate debate this week.
Then, considering some of these candidates’ past and current policy stances, there are a few things on a long list of concerns that I need them to address.
During the debate, Joe Biden got called out by Kamala Harris for being a self-proclaimed civil rights advocate who didn’t support school integration through busing. How are we supposed to trust him on the greater issues of equity and school access?
Bernie Sanders has been tweeting that all students, regardless of their race or socio-ecomic status, should be able to attend college. But how are they supposed to get there if he ignores and wants to limit the options that parents believe will get their kids to college?
And most of the time, I’m rooting for everybody Black.
Let me be clear, (*in my Bernie Sanders voice*) this pandering through offering free college and student loan forgiveness is cute. But me, and other activists, families in low-income and underserved communities and the students who are trapped in failing schools want to hear the plans for improving K-12 education.
And it’s cool if all 20 of y’all have extensive plans listed on your websites. But if you want our vote, we shouldn’t have to go searching for your platforms, you should be talking about all of them.
Photo by LightFieldStudios, Canva-licensed.
Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work—“If not me, then who?” As the former Deputy Director of Activist Development for brightbeam, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for change in the public education system. Her passion for community and relentless mission for justice and liberation drive her in uplifting and amplifying the voices and ...