In his recent, seemingly short-lived campaign emphasis on education policy, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney deemed inequality for students in color in public schools "the civil rights issue of our era." To open last Saturday's show, Melissa went beyond that rhetoric and looked at the substance of the solutions Romney is offering -- an overhaul of national public education that could sideline the Department of Education for good, and place a good deal of faith in charter schools.
An intellectually and ideologically diverse panel which featured Umoja Student Development Corporation founder Lila Leff, Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Alter, and Philadelphia City Paper reporter Daniel Denvir went on to examine the effort to privatize Philadelphia's public schools -- an effort that shares a a lot of common threads with Romney's proposals, and remains unpopular with many in the city. Denvir, the author of perhaps the definitive look at the crisis, brought a decidedly different point of view to the panel than did Alter, and...well, I don't want to ruin it for you.
Watch the segments, all of which are embedded below. Make a little more time than usual to watch this one before we launch a whole new show for you tomorrow morning at 10am ET. See you then in #nerdland, folks.
Mitt Romney turned the attention on education this week after he advocated for reform funding that promotes charter schools. But are charter schools the answer? Melissa Harris-Perry invites Lila Leff, founder of Chicago's Umoja Student Development Corporation, and Philadelphia City Paper reporter Daniel Denvir to her panel to discuss Romney's proposed education reform.
Thousands of people took to the streets in protests this week in response to Philadelphia School Reform Commissions plan to close 64 public schools and auction them to the highest bidder. Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Alter joins the Melissa Harris-Perry panel to discuss the rise in efforts to privatize public schools.
Mitt Romney, in his 35-page education proposal, lashed out against teachers unions saying that they keep America "gridlocked in an antiquated system." New York City public school teacher and union activist Megan Behrent joins Melissa Harris-Perry to talk about the teachers unions.
Melissa Harris-Perry and her panelists continue their conversation on education as they analyze the racial disparity in the public school system that leaves many institutions largely segregated.