In response to last week’s Star-Ledger article, parents are speaking out against Julia Sass Rubin’s remarks that poor families “don’t have the bandwidth to even evaluate charters.” The first was Chrystal Williams, a NorthStar mom. Here, Lesley D. Leslie from Marion P. Thomas Charter School Speaks out.
As a parent of three children that attend the Marion P. Thomas Charter School in Newark, New Jersey, I am offended by the statements made by Julia Sass Rubin in the recent Star Ledger article about charter schools. To suggest that poor families are less able to focus on the best suitable place to educate their children, Ms. Rubin makes the assumption that education could not possibly be a high priority in that family due to their economic circumstance. Being poor does not preclude one from being able to ascertain a quality educational facility over one that is not! Nor does poverty prevent a family from determining which school is a better fit for their children. Ms Rubin is simply not in a position to presume what is a high priority for a family in poverty and what is not. Poor and low-income families encounter numerous challenges associated with poverty, ranging from unemployment to systemic racism. Inaccurate depictions of such families, alleged by Ms. Rubin only serve to create additional barriers for us.
Lesley D. Leslie
Charter School Parent & Board Member