Keenan: TIME Magazine has it wrong

Cross-posted from Time Magazine

Andrew J. Rotherham's "Backlash: Are These End Times for Charter Schools?" mischaracterizes the NAACP's position on charter schools.

New York City's co-located schools, where public and charter school students share space, have such blatant disparities in resources that it has become a modern day reincarnation of separate and unequal. In some, traditional public school students have less library time and older textbooks while their charter school peers have laptops, smartboards, and new textbooks. In one school, parents reported that teachers were holding public school classes in the hallways while charter school children undertake their coursework in new classrooms. Understandably parents on both sides are frustrated and angry, this is not the fault of the parents or the students, whether in traditional public schools or charter schools. In the end it is unfair to all students. As MSNBC commentator Karen Finney noted in her column, "we should consider the message it sends to the child who looks down the hall to an educational oasis she can see but not touch."

The NAACP is working toward a fair resolution for all students.

Two previous lawsuits against the New York Board of Education were won by the NAACP. Consistent with New York law, city schools were required to properly engage and notify parents before closing neighborhood schools and to develop, fund, and implement plans for low-performing schools. The New York Court's order was not followed while disparities continued despite our efforts to work with the board to resolve these issues. As a last resort, the current lawsuit was filed.

The NAACP supports parent choice and all efforts to improve educational opportunity for children. We are not trying to close charter schools. Our goal is that every child will have the opportunity to attend the school of their choice this fall in a manner that is fair and equitable to all students.

Read more:,8599,2076488,00.html#ixzz1QDBTxfBF