This School-Choice Advocate Has a Question for the Anti-Choice NAACP

BlackCommunityNews.com Commentary  |

Teachers in Florida oppose the state’s Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, which helps low-income parents send their children in better schools.

The group sued Florida to eliminate the program; the NAACP joined the lawsuit.

The NAACP, which opposes school choice, also passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on new charter schools.

T. Willard Fair, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Miami, is a school-choice advocate. In an op-ed he wrote in USA Today, he said that too many black kids are in schools with generally fewer resources and less qualified teachers.

Parents with children in failing government schools need power.

“I saw the devastating impact that powerlessness had on the black community in the 1950s and 60s,” he wrote. “And I see that same dynamic at play for black parents today. Once we were told where we could live and work, play and pray, eat and gather. I find it no more acceptable that today we are told where our children can go to school.”

Fair criticized a teachers union leader in Tennessee who implied that black parents aren’t smart enough to make choices about their children’s schools.

“That he is an African American makes the statement no more palatable now than when white bigots in Tennessee expressed similar sentiments about the capabilities of blacks in the 1960s.”

Fair also said it’s “disturbing” that the NAACP wants to suspend the creation of new charter schools, “when the data is overwhelming that on average these schools produce much stronger academic gains for disadvantaged black children. I ask my brothers and sisters at the NAACP, who when they met in Orlando called on the audience to stand and applaud a leader from the teachers’ union: Exactly whose side are you on?”

Photo credit: By Jbak87Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

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