‘For Progressives to Step in and Tell Newark Parents What’s Best For Their Own Children Is Plain Offensive’

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Tom Moran, head of the Star-Ledger Editorial Board, looks squarely at a lawsuit currently in New Jersey State Supreme Court where Education Law Center et. al. is charging that public charter schools in Newark exacerbate segregation, a puzzling argument given that Newark is almost entirely Black and Hispanic. (See here for NJ Ed Report coverage.) Moran objects to Education Law Center’s subjugation of Black Newark families who “consistently choose charter schools over districts schools,” adding, “for progressives to step in and tell them what’s best for their own children is plain offensive.”

Or, as KIPPNJ CEO Ryan Hil, founder of Newark’s TEAM Academy, told Moran, Education Law Center lawyers are supposed to be “trying to help Black and brown families who are underserved, and the solution is to yank them out of the schools they’ve chosen to enroll their kids and force them to go to a school they’ve actively avoided. I don’t get it.”  (Moran notes the irony that “the biggest charter school networks in Newark are Team Academy and North Star Academy, and both came to Newark to promote racial justice by bringing good schools into segregated Black areas where school failures were most dramatic.”)

Jasmine Morrison, a Newark charter school parent and education advocate asks, “Why stop a good thing? It’s very scary to me. These schools do an exceptional job. This is my best option… Black and brown children have been segregated in failing school districts for quite some time. It’s a disservice to them to bring up a case of segregation to remove that opportunity now.”

Hill and Morrison aren’t the only people flummoxed by Education Law Center’s argument (although cynics might remember that the law firm is primarily funded by the state teachers union, whose leaders regard public charter schools as a threat to market share). Here are some reactions on social media:

 

 

 

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