Tuesday Reading List: Who Won Debate Night Twitter? Also, Voter Suppression and Boston Schools

There are hundreds of pundits who can tell you who won the debate last night, so I'm going to focus on who won twitter. Here are a few candidates:

In real news, The Boston Globe covers the conclusion of the recent investigation into the racial strife at the Boston Latin School:

The civil rights probe, commissioned in March, confirmed reports of discrimination first publicly made by students in January, including an incident in which a black female student was called a racial slur by a male student who also threatened to lynch her with an electrical cord. Ortiz found that the school’s mishandling of the incident was a direct violation of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination and harassment at public schools ... The report also found that former headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta and the School Department mishandled a parent’s report about racially insensitive text messages that were sent among a group of students in March 2015.

Teta's behavior and decisions throughout this saga could fill a textbook on how not to deal with issues of racial division in schools. First, she ignored the issues, then she tried to bury them. Despite a federal investigation, she maintains that, "The picture painted in the US attorney’s report could not be further from the reality of life at the school I know and love." Spoken like a person who has failed to appreciate the reality experienced by her Black students. None of us is perfect, but our aspiration should be to use these incidents as growth opportunities, not excuses to harden our beliefs.

Elsewhere in Boston, Erika Sanzi is puzzled by a city councillor's position on charter schools:

Black and Latino parents overwhelmingly support school choice both nationally and locally. A national 2015 survey conducted by the Black Alliance for Educational Options shows that 70 percent of black voters support having more educational options in their communities. Recent polling of Boston parents finds that 75 percent of them support lifting the charter cap with support highest among Black and Latino parents. Tito Jackson is an elected official in the black community. But he isn’t listening.

I've written about the racial dynamics of the charter issue in Massachusetts, but demographics alone cannot explain either voter or official behavior on this issue. Given the enormous amount of money flowing into this issue, proximity to established interests seems to have a significant effect on how elected officials lean.

North Carolina seems to be leaning to the right this election cycle, and Jeremy Raff and Vann R. Newkirk II at The Atlantic produced a short video that captures recent efforts at voter suppression in the state:

Remember, North Carolina is the state where, earlier this year, a federal court ruled that the legislature's shenanigans had disenfranchised Black voters with "surgical precision."

Finally, Sharif El-Mekki wrote an open letter to his local police force in The Philadelphia Citizen; as a school principal, he's concerned that police are exacerbating danger, not curtailing it:

Today, the scene at our students’ dismissal was dangerous—and not because of anything our students were doing. Officers on dirt bikes speeding on the sidewalk, aggressively barking orders to kids who were doing nothing but catching up with their friends and watching officers act crazy, made no sense. Our school staff want our students and the community to be safe. You claim to want the same thing. There are ways that you can partner with us, but you need to be open to feedback and a real partnership. Our students deal with enough bullies. They don’t need bullies with badges to join the fray.

El-Mekki pulls no punches here, and if you look at the comments section (*shudder*) you'll see what he's up against.

Have a great day!