The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) recently went out of its way to disenfranchise minority youth, ratifying a resolution calling for a halt in the growth of charter schools. The decision came as a surprise to many education experts, with Jacqueline Cooper, president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, stating, “It is inexplicable…”
The NAACP’s aversion is a way of sucking up to teachers unions, which fight tooth-and-nail against school choice—a threat to their monopoly on education dollars.
America’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), is perhaps the most ardent opponent. Despite charter schools’ record of success (a recent Stanford University study found that charter school students received the equivalent of 40 days of additional learning a year in math and 28 additional days of learning a year in reading), NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia equated such education reform efforts to “the shameful scapegoating of America’s educators.” Some NEA members even booed presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during a speech when she said, “When schools get it right, whether they are traditional public schools or public charter schools, let’s figure out what’s working…and share it with schools across America.”
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is no more receptive than its sister union. AFT President Randi Weingarten has consistently opposed increased funding for charter schools, even calling for a cap on the number of such schools in Washington, D.C.
So egregious is the union-led opposition to school choice that The New York Times’ editorial board called the NAACP’s resolution “misguided” and “nonsensical,” joining The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post in deriding charter school opponents.