Saturday, June 4, 2011

NAACP vs. Charter Schools


The N.A.A.C.P. on Friday defended its involvement in a lawsuit to block 20 charter schools from opening in public school buildings this fall, saying it was trying to halt city plans to create what it considered a two-tiered education system. About 50 people, including many Harlem political leaders, staged a rally on Lenox Avenue outside the offices of the Success Charter Network, one of the city’s largest charter school networks.

The rally was meant to counter a rally in front of the State Office Building in Harlem last week. That gathering drew about 2,500 parents and students, who came from charter schools around the city to demand that the N.A.A.C.P. withdraw its support from the lawsuit.

The suit, filed by the city’s teachers’ union, would prevent 20 charter schools from opening and expanding in September inside of traditional public school buildings. The process, known as co-location, allows charter schools to move into public school buildings and share their facilities.

Critics of the N.A.A.C.P. have contended that it was betraying charter school parents — most of whom are black or Hispanic — in order to stand by United Federation of Teachers, a longtime ally.

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