Peterson and West on the NAACP and Charters

August 3, 2010

Paul Peterson and Marty West have a great piece in today’s WSJ showing how increasingly popular charter schools are among African-Americans.  Despite that fact, the NAACP continues to oppose charters.

Given that 64% of African-Americans surveyed stated that they supported the formation of charter schools (up from 49% last year), Peterson and West remark that: “It’s time civil-rights groups listened to their communities.”

Unfortunately, Peterson and West tell us, the NAACP has picked their political allies in the teacher unions over their constituents:

By casting their lot firmly with teachers unions, the leadership of the NAACP and the Urban League hope to preserve their power and safeguard their traditional sources of financial support. Not only is this is a cynical strategy, it ignores where African-Americans and Hispanics are on the issue. Thankfully, the Obama administration is paying attention to the needs of low-income, minority communities and not to their purported leaders.

You can read more about the survey over at Education Next.

More Administration Talk/Walk Disconnect

July 22, 2009


Ricci firefighters

They won their case, but it changes nothing – the administration is now imposing racial quotas that will keep their kids out of AP.

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

In today’s post, the disparity between talking the reform talk and walking the reform walk once again “rises to the top.”

Mike Petrilli has again put on his Pollyanna dress and bought into Hope And Change, praising Obama’s NAACP speech in shockingly hyperbolic terms – “It was transcendent. It was inspirational. It was honest, direct, bold, and, I hope, important, maybe a turning point.”

Look, as has always been the case, Obama says a lot of the right things, and that does matter. But come on, Mike, let’s maintain a grip on reality. Of the descriptors you offer, only “direct” seems plausible. Ask the DC voucher kids how “honest” Obama is being when he poses as a reformer. I’m not sure how you can call him “bold” while simultaneously joining the choruses that endlessly sing his praises everywhere I turn – what would he say if he were a coward? (FWIW, McCain has the exact same issue – he’s a “straight talker” who never tells the public anything it doesn’t love to hear. But that doesn’t excuse Obama.) And while Obama’s choice to talk like a reformer is important, if nothing new emerged in this speech – and it didn’t, unless I’m missing something – then this speech adds nothing “important” to the previously established fact that Obama talks like a reformer. (HT Adam Schaeffer, who got to this party before me.)

As for “maybe a turning point” – only in terms of the channel on my radio.

You know whom you should listen to, Mike? There’s this really great blogger on Flypaper who just did an eye-opening post on the Obama administration’s little-noticed threat to bring race discrimination lawsuits against school districts if they don’t have enough “students of color” in advanced courses. Once the threat has been made, of course, the lawsuit never need be brought – school districts across the country have now recieved the message and will quietly adopt racial quotas to avoid attracting the attention of the people playing with matches near the gas tanks at the DOE’s civil rights office. The threat is the quota.

How does that square with the president’s telling the NAACP that black students shouldn’t use social disadvantages as excuses for slacking in school? What will that do to a couple decades’ worth of work you and Checker and so many others have put into promoting rigorous academic standards against all the charlatanry of the radical left?

If I were you, Mike, I’d start following that blogger’s work on a regular basis. A guy who digs up that kind of shocking story when nobody else found it, and has the guts to broadcast it even if it might get him in trouble with the administration – well, in my book, that’s a guy who’s going places.

General Powell Brings in the Heavy Artillery

July 16, 2009

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Leonard Greene of the New York Post turns in an account of Colin Powell telling it like it is at the NAACP convention:

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell joined an NAACP panel of civil-rights giants yesterday and urged a new generation of leaders to declare war on failure in America’s schools. “There’s nothing more important for us as a nation than to sit back down with our kids and return a sense of pride and dignity,” Powell said at the Hilton New York. The retired general was joined by a who’s who of activists, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, Washington power-broker Vernon Jordan and five of the famed Little Rock Nine students, who faced violent mobs to integrate an Arkansas high school in 1957.

Powell rattled off a string of ignoble statistics, including a 50 percent dropout rate among African-American students, 30 percent of whom are born out of wedlock. “There’s a connection,” Powell said before pointing to the Little Rock alumni. “Is this what they fought for?”

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