Charter Schools and Civil Rights: What Kind of ‘Movement’ Is This?
Perhaps the most important element of the progressive élan surrounding the charter school “movement” is its claim to be nothing less than the “Second Coming” of the Civil Rights Movement. Arne Duncan referred to the opening of the film, Waiting for ‘Superman’ as a “Rosa Parks moment”. A group of hedge fund managers (featured in the Style section of The New York Times last year) who organized a casino night fundraiser for charter schools had the same lofty idea. This cause, a banker from Goldman Sachs declared, is the “civil rights struggle of my generation.”
But this “civil rights struggle” has many features that distinguish it from the historic movement of the previous generation. And these should give progressives reason to pause before they join in calling for the blood of the teachers’ unions.
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