Saturday, June 4, 2011

The NAACP Chooses Unions over Education

Not this comes as a surprise to me.  The public school system in this country is broken.  Of course there are some very good public schools in this country, but we also have far too many that are failing our communities and our children.  One such community is Harlem. 

The City of New York has a plan to close 22 failing public schools and to open 19 charter schools using the same properties to do so.  It is no surprise that the unions are fighting this, as they always do.  But, what should come as a surprise the NAACP has joined with the unions to force the city to keep these schools open.  These schools that serve a mainly minority population. 

One of the schools that they are trying to save is PS 332 Charles H. Houston.  PS 332 finished in the bottom 1% of public schools last year.  The combination of the schools that the city is planning on closing is as follows:

Average English/Language proficiency is 16%.  (Citywide average is 42%, still dismal, but much better)
Average Math proficiency is 19%.  (Citywide average is 53%, again dismal but much better)
One of the most frustrating things for the parents in this community is that this suit was filed so late into the school year that it is putting the parents in a position that they don't know what is going to happen to their children for the new school year that is only a few short months away.  The parents that fought to get their kids into the open slots in the better schools are left not knowing if they will still be able to send their children for the September school year.  At a rally last week in Harlem a parent said:

"My child cannot be told that she's not going to get to go to her school in September.  I cannot look her in the eye, as a parent, and tell her, 'Well, the problem is that this group of people that Mommy told you about during  Black History Month, that did all those great things a long time ago - they want to stop you from doing great things." 
The main point from this woman's statement is "a long time ago".  The NAACP has shown it's true colors.  They are no longer fighting for the rights of minorities and has become nothing more than a shill group for far left policies and the unions.  This action smacks of a organization that has lost it's true mission.  Fighting for equality for the black community.  Why should a poor black child be stuck in a failing school because the unions are refusing to accept the changes that are necessary to in order to improve our public school system?  Why should these 7,000 students give up the chance at a better education so that union teachers can save their jobs?  These parents are fighting for the future of their children.  Having a substandard education is one sure way to keep a person living on public assistance, denying them a chance to get a higher education.  We live in a world that is becoming more and more competitive.  While having a college education is no guarantee for a brighter future is certainly helps. 

The statement from the NAACP:

Charter Schools serve only a tiny number of students and that the NAACP is fighting for equality for all students
How, by throwing good money after bad to a school that is one of the worst public schools in the City of New York?    The teacher's unions have proven over and over again that they are not student centered.  The union is more concerned about the pay scales and job security of the teachers than they are of the students.  Remember this?

The fact that NAACP has chosen to side with an organization that is more concerned with paychecks and benefits than they are with student achievement is just more proof that the NAACP no longer has the minority community best interests at heart. 

School Chancellor of New York Dennis Walcott says:

"These figures are nothing to brag about, the unions should be with us.  That's probably too much to expect, considering the union's past intransigence.  Surely, though, it's not too much to hope for from an organization with a history of fighting for civil rights."
It is high time that the people who give money to the NAACP to ask themselves if they are getting their what they pay for.  The NAACP is no longer an organization that fights for minorities it is an organization that is intent on keeping the minority community on the far left plantation.  They pretend to be about the black community being able to have the same opportunities as everyone else in this country.  Except when it comes to getting a good education.  

There is nothing more fundamental than an education.  These parents have the right to choose a good education for their children.  The City of New York has not only the right, but the responsibility to close failing schools.  The unions and The NAACP should have nothing but shame for trying to force these kids into one of the worst schools in the country.  

Read Ben Jealous, the CEO of the NAACP defense here.  My question to Mr. Jealous is how long do these parents have to wait?  How long do they try and fix a failing school?  How much money do we waste before we decide that the school can't be saved?  None of those of questions are answered in his defense. 

Cross posted at PotLuck

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