Wednesday, June 08, 2011

NAACP Claims

Oh my, I suppose this was all too predictable, but the NAACP has just made things much worse for itself by issuing a press release filled with lies and distortions, that smears its critics.  It starts with a few anecdotes that are totally unrepresentative of the reality of co-locations, and an outright lie that co-location is "a cost cutting measure."

New York City has become the latest battleground in the national fight for education equality.

In some schools, hallways serve as a stark dividing line. Classrooms with peeling paint and insufficient resources sit on one side, while new computers, smartboards and up-to-date textbooks live on the other. One group of students will be taught in hallways and basements while others under the same roof make use of fully functional classrooms.

New York schools have increasingly co-located charter schools inside existing public schools as a cost cutting measure. Handled improperly, co-locations can lead to disparities, division and tension among students, which can impede learning.

In many instances, traditional students are forced into shorter playground periods than their charter school counterparts, or served lunch at 10 am so that charter students can eat at noon. The inequity could not be more glaring. And similar proposals are being considered in other states and counties nationwide.

This has NOTHING to do with cost savings.  As for district schools in poor shape vs. charter schools with luxurious fixtures: 1) I've never seen any evidence that this is true across the system.  Charter schools get approximately 20% LESS money per pupil and, in addition, are forced to scrounge for space, so it's not like they have extra money lying around; and 2) Even if some charter schools raise enough extra funds and/or cut back in other areas and/or run larger class sizes so they can afford "new computers, smartboards and up-to-date textbooks", why would the NAACP fight to deny poor black children these things?!  Are they seriously making the argument that if all poor black children can't have "new computers, smartboards and up-to-date textbooks", then NONE SHOULD?!?!


Then the NAACP claims that it's being smeared while in fact smearing its critics:

Our return to court has triggered a smear campaign against the NAACP.

In recent days we have faced a coordinated media attack backed by funds from right wing opponents of traditional public schools. Unable to dispute the facts of the case, they've chosen to cast aspersions on the NAACP, to question our motivations, and to sling mud at our legacy.

(I am NOT making this up – this is really on their web site right now – check for yourself:

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