Derrell Bradford grew up in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester, the neighborhood that’s exploded in anger at the death of Freddy Gray in police custody. School choice got him out of Sandtown, Bradford writes on The Catalyst.
That corner where the CVS was burned and looted? That’s where he caught buses to better schools in other parts of town. It’s why he now runs the New York Campaign for Achievement Now.
. . . it’s exactly because you grow up in Sandtown that you know the value of an excellent school which you get to attend regardless of who your parents are, how much money they make, or where you live. While watching students of Frederick Douglass High School throw rocks at police across the Gwynns Falls Parkway, all I could remember was my first trip to that school. I arrived as a visitor and an athlete—not a student—at what would have been my zoned public school. There was glass in the grass of the end zone; I was the only one of my classmates who knew to look for it.
. . . but for the right school, and the shining fingertip of providence, you are Freddie Gray.
“Choice is the most powerful way to create new worlds of possible for kids who are destined to have so little possible for themselves,” Bradford concludes.