Monday, June 6, 2011

Where, Oh Where, Has the Old NAACP Gone?

There's not much worse than watching an institution that has so frequently been on the right side of history so clearly lose its way. Unfortunately, the NAACP has done just that, and the outcry has been—rightly—loud and clear.

The group's New York chapter has been in the news after it joined a lawsuit with the United Federation of Teachers to stop the closure of almost a half-dozen failing public schools and prevent charter schools from operating in buildings used by traditional public schools.

In sum, they've chosen to protect a status quo that hurts low-income children, instead of fighting against it, as they usually do.

Our own Kevin P. Chavous very eloquently questions the logic of the civil rights organization, and he's not alone—not by a long shot. In addition to his recent op-ed piece, there's been a deluge of articles written by education reformers across the political, geographical, and ideological education reform spectrum, all asking one simple question: why is the NAACP fighting against those it has for decades worked so hard to protect?

Take a look at just a smattering of the pieces written on the subject in recent days.

The NAACP's mystifying decision to side with a union over students - The Washington Post Editorial Board, June 2

For shame, NAACP: A betrayal on education - Rafiq R. Kalam Id-Din II, The New York Post, June 2

The NAACP's clout is a terrible thing to waste: Black rights group is wrong to sign onto UFT lawsuit - Michael Lomax and Michelle Rhee, The New York Daily News, June 2

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MAG

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