Wednesday, June 08, 2011

More on the NAACP vs. schoolchildren

It's really remarkable how many civil rights leaders have stepped forward to oppose the NAACP.  At first glance, it might seem like an over-reaction, given that this is one lawsuit, in one city, affecting fewer than two dozen schools.  But in reality it's far more than this: it's a battle for the future of the civil rights movement on the issue that is the civil rights issue of our generation.  As the incomparable Howard Fuller put it so well: "What good is it to be able to sit at the lunch counter if you can't read the menu?!"  It's especially important in NYC, which has one of the strongest (if not the strongest) collection of charter schools in the country, and where parental demand is off the charts.  Here's the latest data:


According to the NYC Charter Center's sector-wide lottery survey, over 64,000 students applied for 13,000 available charter school seats this year, leaving more than 51,000 students on waitlists (see full press release and initial press coverage). In total, public charter schools received an estimated 115,000 applications this year as some families applied to multiple schools. The number represents a 44% increase from last year when schools received an estimated 64,400 applications. Since 2007-2008, charter applications have grown from just over 25,000 to more than 114,000 today—a 78% increase.

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