Saturday, February 18, 2017

How I Got Schooled at the NAACP Hearing - LA Progressive

How I Got Schooled at the NAACP Hearing - LA Progressive:

How I Got Schooled at the NAACP Hearing

naacp hearing
Alice Huffman


After calling for a national moratorium on charter schools until certain concerns were addressed (see below), the NAACP received blowback from charter school advocates. But Jitu Brown, of the Journey for Justice, defended the moratorium in the Washington Post’s education blog, the Answer Sheet, saying, “corporate reform has failed to bring equitable educational opportunities to all children.”

This hearing was one in a series, a listening tour, making its way across the country.
The distinguished members of the Task Force, all pre-eminent civil rights leaders in cities from Boston to Sacramento, states from Mississippi to Minnesota, gathered testimony from people with direct experience of the issues the moratorium seeks to provide the breathing room to address.
There was massive organized presence by charter advocates. One charter supporter stacked the speaker sign-up sheet with people who would speak against the moratorium, by copying a typed-up charter school roster she had brought.
The unions showed up, too. UTLA brought a contingent from Dorsey High School and CSEA came. The Santa Ana Teachers Association’s charter school task force came. Former Education Chair of the California Assembly, Jackie Goldberg, gave public comment.
I was part of a group of the California Badass Teachers Association (BATs), a grassroots group of about 2000 teachers and education activists. I testified as a recovering charter school parent, but what I heard was more important than anything I said.
I go anywhere that people are willing to talk about what charter schools are doing to public education because of their lack of oversight. Few official bodies in California, and perhaps none in Los Angeles, will openly discuss the need for charter school oversight for fear of the powerful California Charter Schools Association lobby (Gubernatorial candidate and California State Treasurer John Chiang is a rare exception).
So the NAACP, the oldest civil rights organization in our country, provided us with a rare opportunity. I was grateful for my two minutes at the mic.
When the charter advocates in the back of the room shouted me down, Alice Huffman, the chair, promptly regained order.
I’m sure for some in the audience it wasn’t my anti-charter message that got them riled up. Some were rightly suspicious of a white Westsider telling them anything about educating urban, black How I Got Schooled at the NAACP Hearing - LA Progressive:
 

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