NYTimes Misguided Attack on NAACP’s Charter School Resolution
In a misguided editorial titled “A Misguided Attack on Charter Schools”, the NYTimes takes the NAACP to task for its pending action on a resolution calling for a limit on charter schools. In a preposterously hypocritical and illogical argument, in one paragraph the Times describes charter schools as those who “…receive public money but are subject to fewer state regulations than traditional public schools” and in a later paragraph writes that more of these schools should be open because:
…sound research has shown that, when properly managed and overseen, well-run charter schools give families a desperately needed alternative to inadequate traditional schools in poor urban neighborhoods.
But the NAACP’s point in passing the resolution is that the charter schools serving their children are most often the ones that are NOT “properly managed” and because they are de-regulated by design they are NOT “properly overseen”. Worse, these schools serving their children are often operated by privatizers who value their shareholders far more than they value the children they serve. The Times editorial acknowledges as much:
The Stanford study (e.g. the “sound research” referenced above) notes, however, that poorly run charters can be disastrous. In some areas, the study notes, not a single charter school outperforms the traditional school alternative — and in some places, more than half are significantly worse. The city of Detroit, where more than half of all students attend charter schools, has recently become an example of such a failure.
But because SOME charters ARE good and increased oversight is, evidently, BAD, the NAACP is wrong to seek a moratorium until the government can establish better oversight. The Times editors, taking the side of “reformers” who seek to siphon off engaged parents into their profiteering world of charters, concludes that the NAACP should go along:
For many parents and students, a charter school is the only route to a superior education. In advocating a blanket moratorium on charters, the N.A.A.C.P. would fail to acknowledge what’s happening to children who need and deserve a way out of the broken schools to which they have been relegated.
The Times editorial board misses the point the NAACP is trying to make: For ALL parents and students, ALL public schools MUST be improved so that quality education is not a choice, it’s a guarantee.