Over Christmas break, the NAACP quietly released a resolution on charter schools.
Among the expected anti-charter rhetoric are sprinkled some things of interest.
First, in the midst of listing the advantages charters have, e.g., the supposed selection and removal of students, the resolution also states that charters operate more autonomously in the “selection and removal of staff, thus creating separate and unequal conditions of success.” (emphasis supplied) Wait a Minute! Did the NAACP just claim that charter schools have a better chance of success because they are not hindered by state laws mandating collective bargaining, LIFO, tenure, due process and the rest? Why, yes, yes they did. Wonder if Michael Mulgrew shares their viewpoint?
Second, they single out for condemnation those charter schools that are providing a quality education because it will only help a small percentage of students and leave behind other children in “failing schools.” Two things are striking: First, the NAACP must have forgotten to read the UFT’s talking point memo that there are no “failing schools,” only failed policies of school district management. Second, this is such a classic illustration of the maxim that those who wait to do good until all can benefit, end up doing nothing for anyone.
Finally, and more hopeful is the NAACP’s vow to “strongly advocate for immediate, overarching improvements to the existing public education system.” I fervently wish they do just that but I’m not optimistic.
Maybe the fact that resolution is more rhetoric than reality accounts for the oddities of its release months after approval from the organization’s board and with no discernible press effort. Indeed, it doesn’t seem to exist on their website at all, coming to me only by happenstance.