The Battle Rages On ...

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In case you've missed all the back and forth on this:  The NAACP along with the United Federation of Teachers filed a suit in May against the NYC Department of Education opposing its plans to close 22 persistently failing schools and to allow public charter schools to share spaces with several traditional public schools.  

Things heated up last week. Here are some highlights:

• May 31st, 2011. New York Charter Schools Association's Peter Murphy said the lawsuit "represents the latest attempt by the establishment to use the courts to deny educational opportunity to children, particularly students of color from low-income households." 

• June 2nd, 2011. Michael Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund and Michelle Rhee of StudentsFirst sumed it up in an op-ed for New York Daily News with this bullseye quote:  "The UFT-NAACP lawsuit would have us invest in schools that aren't working and disinvest in schools that are." 

• June 3rd, 2011. DFER Board Chair Kevin Chavous said in a WaPo op-ed: "In the heavens above, legendary figures such as Thurgood Marshall, Walter White and Roy Wilkins must be shaking their heads." 

• June 6th, 2011. RiShawn Biddle of Dropout Nation discussed the merits of a recent press release by the NAACP, which spouts that the recent criticism of its role in the lawsuit is backed by a group of right-wingers that oppose traditional public schools and want to dirty the reputation of the NAACP. I'm pretty sure our organization is called Democrats for Education Reform.

• June 6th, 2011. This title of Stanley Crouch's article in the New York Daily News says it all: "The NAACP enters an unholy alliance: It's fighting charter schools rather than supporting them."

• June 7th, 2011. In the Wall Street Journal, David Hardy, CEO of Boys' Latin school in Philadelphia, stated, "They [the NAACP and teachers unions] aren't about learning. They are about jobs." What happened to the NAACP that fought for African American children? 



• June 8th, 2011. Janette Ramos, mother of a 5-year-old kindergartner at Bronx Success Academy Charter School, in a letter to New York State NAACP President Hazel Dukes: 
"If you and the NAACP continue on this horrible lawsuit against my daughter's school and the fellow 18 charter schools, it will not be the best legacy to leave behind and ... what the NAACP stands for."

To which Dukes responded:
"You are not a member of the NAACP and don't understand that you are doing the business of slave masters."

Read more here: New York Daily News 

• There are signs of hope though - June 8th, 2011. Ben Jealous, the president of the NAACP said, "We are open to all options to settle this suit." And, on June 10th, 2011, in a NY Times article Ben Jealous also stated, "We're open to ideas that push good education to all children."

Stay tuned to see how this all plays out ... 

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Cartoon by Andrew Hart, freelance artist and co-founder of the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society.
To see more of his artwork, visit his website here www.andrewjhart.com
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