June 11, 2011
N.A.A.C.P. on Defensive as Suit on Charter Schools Splits Group’s Supporters
By FERNANDA SANTOS
In some ways, it seems like a natural cause for the N.A.A.C.P.: students — many of them poor, most of them black — treated as second-class citizens when the public schools they attended had to share buildings with charter schools. A lawsuit filed last month by the N.A.A.C.P. and the United Federation of Teachers described children having to eat lunch so early it might as well be breakfast, and getting less exercise because gym hours were evenly divided between the schools despite big differences in their enrollment sizes.
But black children have been major constituents of charter schools since their creation two decades ago. So when thousands of charter-school parents, students and advocates staged a rally on May 26 in Harlem, it was not so much to denounce the litigation as it was to criticize the involvement of the N.A.A.C.P.