The rapper Common recently got checked on Twitter about Chicago politics. Common, mostly known as a “conscious” rapper, tweeted an inspirational quote from John Dewey. “Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another,” Common said via Twitter. Cute. Too bad he name checked someone whose name is on a school that is slated to “turn around” via the Chicago Board of Education, a board in which his mom sits.
Common’s mom is Dr. Mahlia A. Hines, who was appointed to the Chicago Board of Education by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2011. On May 22nd, the Chicago Board of Education voted to shut down 50 Chicago schools. Local Chicago station WBEZ 91.5 reports that most of the impacted students from the school closures are African American.
One Twitter user decided to check Common about the quote he posted:
— Kenzo Shibata (@KenzoShibata) May 24, 2013
However, Dewey Elementary School was not one of the schools the Chicago Board of Education voted to close according to the Chicago Tribune. Whoop. Closing 50 schools is no small matter, but that particular school is staying open. It is not being closed, but “turned around,” which means the entire staff will be fired and replaced. There will be students there though. If you’re going to be a Twitter thug, at least fact check first.
What do you think about the state of public schools in urban America? Are drastic changes overdue? What would you suggest to improve the public school system?
UPDATE: Kenzo contacted me to let me know that he does not follow Common. I had to get MY facts straight! I made that change in the story. My own Twitter thugging was ruined by an assumption. Also, Kenzo has a pretty interesting Twitter timeline. You should follow him.
Demetria Irwin is a New York City-based freelance writer/editor. Follow her on Twitter,@Love_Is_Dope.