Using the Courts to Deny Equality
Peter Murphy of the NY Charter School Assoc:
This irony is all the worse with the NAACP involvement, whose founders must be spinning in their graves. So twisted is this saga that parents and students in Harlem last week staged a rally to protest the NAACP for this sell-out of their interests to the UFT. Perhaps the NAACP's New York officials were simply misinformed before signing on to the lawsuit, and there is time to reconsider. This is hardly the way for such a venerable organization to remain relevant.
Freedom Riders History
The same month of this lawsuit to turn back the clock on school opportunities, the very historic struggle of African-Americans to achieve justice and equality was being studied and celebrated by New York City district and charter students in Jackson, Mississippi for the 50th anniversary of the "Freedom Riders." This past week students from the Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation in Harlem and Renaissance Charter School in Queens and other schools were on a bus tour of the deep south, including stops in Greensboro, NC and Atlanta, and culminating in Jackson.
Thus, while charter students were traveling to places were the civil rights struggle was fought in profound ways, and meeting historic individuals that helped achieve justice for future generations, charter school opportunities were under assault back home. The irony is breathtaking.
How this anti-charter school lawsuit turns out is any one's guess, but it sure gets confusing to students and adults, alike. Still, in one disturbing sense there's nothing new here. If history has taught us anything, establishment figures and old systems don't give up easily to change, even when justice and equality are at stake.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011