philadelphia schools

Op-Ed: Chicago’s Lessons for Philadelphia Schools

Originally published in The Philadelphia Citizen

At 8 years old, my Saturday haunt was the North Philadelphia Woolworths five and dime on 25th and Lehigh. I would prowl the novelty aisle with my weekly quarter bouncing in what my mom called “my hot little hands.” One week, I found something I couldn’t live without—a thick mustache, big nose, and hairy eyebrows held together by round plastic glasses. The disguise may have looked stupid, but, for me, it promised the freedom of anonymity.

The thought that I could leave my identity behind and travel my neighborhood undetected consumed me. So much so that it never entered my mind that no one would believe the mask’s big white nose belonged to a skinny black boy from North Philly. No matter—I wanted the disguise. Then came my mom’s sobering words: “You’re not gonna fool anybody with that.”

That’s how I feel about the Chicago Teachers Union’s strike against in-person schooling that ended recently. It’s special-interest politics flimsily disguised as a health crisis. And it’s not fooling anyone.

Read more at The Philadelphia Citizen