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Splinter Group Shouldn’t Hog Media

by Jeanne Allen
Response to “Tension on School Closings“, National Journal
February 8, 2013

“Journey for Justice?” Oh, please. A little investigative journalism is in order here.

This is a group that has crusaded for medical marijuana, the right for renters who can’t pay to be left alone, free healthcare, and just about every other fringe cause that requires no obligation on the part of the individual, with all the obligation on the part of taxpayers and governments. This splinter group has never been involved in education, and its cause is not their cause, but the cause of those who engaged them in rallying around school closures — none other than the Save Our Schools Coalition (SOSC).

SOSC IS Parents Across America IS Journey for Justice. That’s just a few more of their many alliances.

The cries of “justice now” for schools are not a result of the civic engagement and knowledge by those involved in these groups. They are fueled and inspired by labor unions and other bedrock educational establishment groups, whose work is solely devoted to creating roadblocks to any reforms or programs that upset their control of traditional public school alliances, structures and government entities.

These are the same people who protested outside of Eva Moskowitz’s exceptional charter schools when they sought expansion. These are the people who created a firestorm over the film Won’t Back Down because it was a film that might actually make ordinary people take notice of the plight of children AND teachers stuck in failing schools. These are the people running around trying to create conspiracies out of corporate interests in education. Their cause may look organic and grassroots, but it is nothing of the sort. Lawmakers and the public should not be fooled by this Astroturf movement.

If it’s not about killing any testing, and any choice, it’s now about keeping open bad schools. It is a movement constructed by the unions, which fund Save our Schools Coalition, and clad in civil rights language, to suggest there is something more to this than self-interest.

To ask the question about closing schools, as if this were a movement based on reason and fact, is an affront to the seriousness of the issue. From Arne Duncan to Howard Fuller to this writer and millions in between there is near universal agreement that no child should be forced to attend a failing school for even an hour, let alone a day or a year.

If there are people who think it’s awful to close those schools, then give those children vouchers to leave and appease us all!