Monday, April 7, 2008

'Because of their chains'

As the New Hope Scholarship Act continues to make its way through the Oklahoma state legislature, now's a good time to remember something former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige told a conference of black ministers back in 2001.

"We also need to give parents more options and choices," Secretary Paige said. "Children trapped in failing schools need a way out. They should have a chance at a quality education."

In Phillipians, the Apostle Paul says, "Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly." My friends, many of our children are trapped in failing schools. Because of their chains, let us speak for reform courageously and fearlessly. I hope their suffering will inspire us to push for real change of our public schools. We must attack courageously the status quo that has trapped some of our children in failing schools.

To do so, we need the support and commitment of the African-American community. These are our children being left behind. Now, the question we must ask ourselves is what are we going to do about it?

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