John Feehery (The Hill) wrote on October 4th, “Education as a wedge issue.” In the article, he references the maneuvers to fire Michelle Rhee, considered to be the last best hope for DC’s under-served students, especially African-American students. Clearly, as he explains it, education was used as a wedge.
And then there’s the One Nation Working Together march that brought unions, teachers, parents, clergy, business owners, students and a host of approximately 500 organizations and concerns that marched together and put education as a priority in this country:
Over the weekend, the NAACP and the NEA, without the slightest bit of irony, marched hand in hand in Washington in a rally that was touted as “One Nation Working Together.” … This comes on the heels of the National Education Association’s successful campaign to get Adrian Fenty fired from his job as mayor of the District of Columbia so that his successor, Vincent Gray, will fire Michelle Rhee, who is the last, best chance that the D.C. school system would improve. … The D.C. school system, by the way, is overwhelmingly black, and by firing Rhee, black students will be hurt the worst. But that fact seems to be lost on the NAACP leaders, who mindlessly march with teachers unions, thinking somehow that failing schools are good for the African-American community. [….]
Mindlessly marched. That’s not what happened on 10.2.10. Moreover, we cannot separate from each other in order to solve the crisis we face. The fact that 7,000 students drop out day in a academic school year should cause us all to join hands. We cannot fight each other. We must unite. If for no other reason that our children. What the NAACP, along with hundreds of other organizations, was the right step. And there is no turning back now.