Let’s start with the problem: In Harlem (NY), according to the Wall Street Journal, at one elementary school, only 3% of the students perform at grade level English, and only 9% in Math. At the Columbus High School the graduation rate is an abysmal 40%, compared to a citywide average of 63%. These figures are from only two of 22 failing schools that need to be shut down.
Yet, despite the horrific record, the NAACP and the United Federation of Teachers has filed a suit against the Department of Education to prohibit 17 charter schools from “opening, moving, or expanding” in the Harlem area and to keep 22 failing public schools open.
This has many African-American parents aghast at the NAACP’s position.
Last Thursday, around 2,500 people rallied outside a state administrative building in Harlem to protest the NAACP and UFT lawsuit.
Parents at the rally said the NAACP is working against the interest of minority families who have children in charter schools by participating in the suit.
“People of color go to these charter schools. If anything the NAACP should be on our side,” said Yasmeen Holloway, 30, a transit worker from Harlem whose daughter Kayla Doctry is a kindergartener at the Harlem Success Academy II charter school.
Several charter schools, including Harlem Success Academy, suspended instruction Thursday morning so that parents and children could attend the rally.
According to the WSJ, the NAACP’s Hazel Dukes was unmoved by the rally and the critics, stating they “can march and have rallies all day long. . . . We will not respond.”
Unfortunately, Dukes probably doesn’t need to respond. As long as she and her union allies can maintain their grip as spokespeople for the African American community, the community, as a whole, will continue to be stuck in a vicious cycle. Sadly, it will be the children that will suffer the greatest as they are held back by the NAACP and the UFT.
UPDATE: From BigGovernment.com:
Friday morning, the NAACP struck back by protesting outside the office of the Success Charter Network and its founder, former city councilwoman Eva Moskowitz. She has engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the union and its apologists, trying to bring more charter schools to New York City neighborhoods with the worst schools.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776