Twitterview with NAACP Education Director Beth Glenn - Why We’re Suing the NY Dept. of Ed.

NAACP Education Director Beth Glenn

Last May, the NAACP filed a lawsuit on behalf of New York City’s public schoolchildren and their parents. The lawsuit was filed for the most common reasons we have sued boards of education across the decades: students are being grossly mistreated, their parents are being deeply disrespected and the entire community stands to suffer. On June 8, 2011, we sat down for a Twitterview with NAACP Education Director Beth Glenn to answer your questions about why the NAACP is suing the New York Department of Education.

@NAACP: About ready to start our Twitterview with NAACP #Education Director Beth Glenn. Thanks to all who've submitted - we'll get as many as we can!

@NAACP: Are you (the #NAACP) opposed to charter schools? 

BG: The lawsuit isn't about charter schools – it’s about creating good education for all & involving parents in decisions about shutting down/reorganizing schools. Charter schools are attended by only 4% of NYC students – we have to be concerned about the other 96%, too.

@NAACP: Why is filing lawsuit a better route for addressing the NYC school crisis than submitting a better proposal? (via @Brandale2221)

BG: The process in state law will generate proposals at each school that engage parents & improve schools for all kids & families (i.e. charter schools).

@NAACP: Why file the suit now? It will disrupt the education of thousands of charter school students.

BG: We stand with the parents in their anger at New York City for issuing school assignments based on an illegal process. The New York City Education Department had more than 1 year to follow the law. Instead, they made assignments based on an illegal process – which must be stopped ASAP.

@NAACP: Does the @NAACP believe that charters schools and traditional public #NYSchools can co-exist? via @EricBLewis

BG: Multiple schools can share space, but New York law says they can’t be separate & unequal, as is happening now -- & as the Department of Education proposes for the future.

@NAACP: Regarding the inequalities you claim between public charter & traditional public schools, how is it that you feel they favor charters?

BG: Charters benefit because traditional schools are forced to give up access to libraries, gyms, cafeterias & other resources.

@NAACP: Is the NAACP is abandoning its base by siding with “the system/the status quo” at the union’s behest?

BG: This suit is continuing a 102-year legacy of fighting to reform & improve schools that serve a majority of students, not just a tiny percentage.

@NAACP: Public school education supposed to be great equalizer, but it doesn't seem to be happening. Is fixing this frustrating?

BG: Fixing is frustrating, but not fixing is not an option. New York has a new chancellor, and a new oppoprtunity to get to a point where public schools are the great equalizer.

@NAACP: Ok folks, that about wraps it up. (Time flies when you're having fun)...thanks to all for following/RTing/sending your questions! Big thanks to Beth Glenn for joining us. Feel free to tweet questions about the suit, but we hope this helped answer some of your questions.