Recently a crowd of protesters disrupted a speech by Elizabeth Warren. The activists might have seemed grassroots, but they weren’t... The Guardian, Billionaire-funded protest is rearing its head in AmericaBut the NY Times (intentionally) fell for it as evidenced by this biased front page article in the Nov. 27, 2019 edition of the Times: Minority Voters Chafe as Democratic Candidates Abandon Charter Schools.
commentisfree/2019/nov/27/ billionare-funded-protests- america
The NYT doesn't raise the issue: Why is there a charter school industrial complex designed to make a lot of money for a lot of people using kids as a device.
[Addendum since publication - Ravitch on the same subject: Robert Kuttner (and I) Challenge the New York Times Slant on Charter Schools By dianeravitch November 29, 2019]
Outside the Atlanta studio where the candidates were assembling for Wednesday’s debate, more than 300 people chanted “Our children, our choice” to the drumbeats of a marching band from a KIPP school. The next day, black and Latino charter school parents shouted the same refrain at Ms. Warren as she tried to start a speech about race in Atlanta. .... Since 2016, public polling has shown a widening divide on charter schools between white Democrats and their black and Latino peers. White Democrats’ approval of charter schools dropped to 27 percent from 43 percent between 2016 and 2018, according to a poll conducted by Education Next, a journal based at Harvard that is generally supportive of charters. Black and Latino approval for the schools remained basically steady at about 47 percent for each group.Hmmmm - does this mean the majority of parents of color do not approve and why is that downplayed - note how misleading the NYT headline is: Minority Voters Chafe as Democratic Candidates Abandon Charter Schools
I don't expect anything less from NYT reporter Eliza Shapiro who shows bias in her reporting since she was at Politico - When she moderated a debate on charters I attended with Carol Burris as one of the participants challenging charters, I saw clear evidence of bias so I never trust her ed reporting --- at times Trump is right about NYT fake news -- NYC education activists have known that for decades.
Last week, Elizabeth Warren went to Atlanta to give a major speech about issues of concern to black women. Her speech touched on knotty, existential topics such as the legacy of slavery, institutional racism, voter suppression, mass incarceration and reparations. But the next day’s headlines overwhelmingly focused on the fact that the speech was interrupted by a loud group of pro-charter school protesters.NYT: their [charters] waiting lists swelling into the hundreds of thousands.
We were supposed to be talking about challenging centuries of institutional racism, but now we’re talking about charter schools. How did that happen? If you suspect that some sort of nefarious action that can be traced back to plutocratic billionaires is involved – well, of course.
The protesters themselves were, by all accounts and appearances, a group of concerned people who passionately oppose Warren’s plan to bolster public education and crack down on the charter school industry. But they did not all materialize in the crowd together in matching shirts by chance. Their existence was orchestrated by pro-charter school groups that are funded by an array of billionaires, including Netflix founder Reed Hastings, art and philanthropy titan Eli Broad and, most prominently, the Walton Foundation, controlled by the staggeringly wealthy family that owns Walmart. Thus we are all forced to deal with the spectacle of classic tactics of grassroots protest being coopted and fueled by a tiny group of the very sort of people that such tactics were developed to target in the first place.
What bullshit about waiting lists - charter propaganda. The reporters should ask to see these lists. We know there are empty charter seats in Eva schools here in NY.
And are there also massive waiting lists for some public schools?
One more bit from the Guardian to highlight how easy the charter lobby can distract from real issues:
One of the emotional backbones of Warren’s speech was the story of the 1881 Atlanta washerwomen strike – a relatively little known incident in labor history that she was no doubt inspired to cite by the union leader Sara Nelson’s recent speech on the same topic in front of the Democratic Socialists of America convention. Yet what should be a shining example of radical ideas rising to mainstream prominence in a presidential campaign has been pushed to the bottom of most news stories in favor of the charter school ruckus. This points to the fact that astroturf campaigns don’t have to be very sophisticated, or even very secret; they just need to make enough noise to weasel their way into a 30-second TV hit to get the job done.Oh, and Howard Fuller is one of the biggest pieces of crap and indicative of the slime the charter industry attracts.
Read both articles in full below.