Why the anger at closing bad schools?
July 29, 2010 § Leave a comment
A court decision last week blocking New York City’s efforts to shut down 19 failing schools may be the end of that fight, but more heated battles over whether to close schools are likely to crop up in New York and elsewhere in the coming months.
The New York case shows us that it’s unlikely these schools will go quietly. The fights over closings are likely to shape up in the way conflicts over schools usually do: with teachers’ unions on the side of saving schools, and reformers in the mold of NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein promoting closures as a way to make accountability real.
What was a little more surprising in the New York case was the third party in the picture, the NAACP, which joined the case on the side of the teachers’ union. Local leaders of the civil rights group said they were participating because African-American parents were complaining that the closures violated their children’s rights.
This is not the first time school closings have sparked anger in African-American communities. In the 1960s and ’70s, during another massive reform effort – school desegregation – hundreds of schools, most of them in black neighborhoods, were closed. READ MORE…
(this post was also published by the Huffington Post)