Why The NAACP Moratorium On Charters Really Matters To Our Public Schools
While one might be tempted to laugh off Donald Trump’s recent efforts to craft a “Civil Rights Agenda,” his labors punctuate a long history of attempted appropriation. Politicians and others have tried to assume the mantle of the Civil Rights Movement in support of policies and programs wholly inconsistent with that movement’s core social justice principles. This has been most evident of late in conversations about public education.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples, the nation’s oldest and most highly recognized civil rights organization, called for a nationalmoratorium on charter schools this summer. Soon after, a bipartisan chorus of charter supporters cried foul attempting to present the so- called choice offered by charters, as well as other attributes of corporate education reform, as the next logical step in the Civil Rights Movement.
It is all the more curious when many of the same people, like Trump, have been mostly silent on other issues impacting communities of color. They offer no support for the contemporary Black Lives Matter Movement. But, they can hardly contain their indignation when efforts are made on behalf of communities of color to block corporate education reform measures like high stakes testing and unregulated publicly financed charters.
Rather than addressing the NAACP’s position, some critics have sought to deflect the conversation. Writing in US News and World Report, Harvard University Government Professor Paul Peterson, for instance, attempted to shift the blame back on to teachers’ unions, and their supposed preservationist interest in fighting charters. He nevertheless wondered, “Why do many civil rights groups oppose charters?” He demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the history of the movement and those who fought in it. Unions, for example, played an integral part in backing the Civil Rights Movement. While the history of the relationship iscomplex, union members were well represented among protesters and movement leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. often counted on them for critical financial support.
The relationship between the movement and unions is a given. Moreover, ending segregated schooling in the United States constituted the very essence of the most important case brought by the NAACP, Brown v. the Board of Education. Its goal was to end the doctrine of “separate but equal” in education. With the Brown decision, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the position of civil rights Why The NAACP Moratorium On Charters Really Matters To Our Public Schools | Huffington Post: