GLI issues lukewarm opposition to ‘Neighborhood Schools’ bill — just to hear itself talk

The cowards at GLI don’t want to “focus” on racially segregating our children.

When I saw the headline in The Courier-Journal, “GLI opposes ‘Neighborhood Schools’ bill,” I was excited to applaud the Louisville Chamber of Commerce — maybe they finally showed some courage by opposing efforts by state Republicans.

Then, I read the letter, and realized GLI remains devoid of any courage, and, instead is afraid of offending its newly discovered besties in the Republican majority in Frankfort.

Here is how I read GLI’s attempt to disagree with Republicans: “Oh, you all have been great! We really like what you did here, here and here. Oh, and that Charter Schools bill… My goodness, that was brilliant. Speaking of education… eh-hem… uh, well… with all due respect, maybe please don’t focus on the one that would bring racial segregation back to Louisville’s schools. At least for now, sorry, I’m sorry, maybe later… I’m sorry thank you for everything goodbye.”

The reason for GLI’s opposition is wrong and morally misguided. The only line in the letter explaining their dissent states: “the Neighborhood Schools bill, limits parental choice and has shown no evidence of addressing the achievement gap.”

Not a single mention of racial segregation.

How can GLI issue a statement without so much as uttering the words central to the entire storm swirling around this bill? What credibility do you have if you are too afraid to even say the word race? Or segregation?

Even the rhetorically empty reasoning GLI provided is wrong. The bill would actually increase choice — the wrong choice, but choice nonetheless.

Their statement is morally misguided, because, when it comes to issues of segregation, choice cannot be a determining factor — actually, it can’t even be an option. History has proven that America can’t be given a choice when it comes to issues of segregation. Whenever white America has had the option, it has always led to no choices or options for others.

GLI is correct that the neighborhood schools have “shown no evidence of addressing the achievement gap.” That’s because there is evidence showing that desegregating schools does help close the gap.

This is also the reason they should oppose charter schools — there is no evidence that charters help close the achievement gap, and they segregate students (along achievement lines, if not race or socioeconomic status). So, according to their own reasoning, they should oppose both charters and neighborhood school bills.

The point is, GLI continues to disappoint.

And just think, your don’t have to say anything. If you don’t feel strongly enough to come out with a strong position, and can defend it, then don’t comment. But GLI is just a PR machine. Its entire existence is increasingly becoming to lobby and run public relations for a zealous, conservative agenda.

Hey, GLI, try something like this: LEO is disgusted by the Neighborhood Choice bill, and the efforts to take our city back into the Jim Crows days.