One of the monthly features on diversitycentral.com is News and Trends. I usually write up 3 or 4 of these pieces each month from press releases and external research. ┬áThis month one of these pieces concerned the takeover of the Camden school district of New Jersey. Now, I hadn’t heard of the takeover before I was assigned this piece, but I had some knowledge of the dropping academic records of public schools.

I had no idea how bad it was. I grew up a white female in a decent neighborhood with good schools. And, honestly, there was a lot of luck involved in that. My home was supposed to be temporary until my family found a new one. When I came in to the picture, they decided to settle so I wouldn’t be uprooted. They had no idea there was a good school system that would provide me with, not only a decent education, but also a better chance of getting into college.

I was lucky. When I learned that the high school graduation rate in the Camden school district was forty-nine percent, I was shocked. At my school when someone didn’t graduate it was a big deal. People were sad, it became a “here’s the moral of the story.” To have that many children not graduate… it’s horrible. More and more in this world an education is becoming essential.

And that racial segregation plays a role in this figure is even worse. It needs to be fixed. Now.