NEW YORK – We at EAGnews often disagree with the Rev. Al Sharpton on many different issues.
But we believe Sharpton put his finger on the truth with his recent comments about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to prohibit several outstanding charter schools from using empty space in several of the city’s half vacant public school buildings.
Sharpton, like millions of people across the nation, seems to have come to the understanding that schools should exist to benefit students, not the people who staff them, and if certain types of schools (like charters) are getting the job done for kids, they should be aided and encouraged, not evicted.
He sums up the situation when he says that the New York charter schools are “suffering because of unnecessary animosities.” Most of those evolve from the city’s teachers union, which hates charters, regardless of their success, because they typically don’t hire union teachers.
The union, of course, was a major force in helping de Blasio win last year’s election, so the mayor is eager to repay the favor, even if that means cheating children out of a quality education.
The unions and their puppet mayor should consider what Sharpton says about putting the needs of children first, and employing all successful education models for their benefit.
“I believe it is time to set all the animosity aside and let the interest of the students themselves take center stage,” Sharpton was quoted as saying in the New York Daily News. “All of our children deserve the best we can do in education, and they can benefit from any techniques that have been developed and objectively work, coming from public schools or from charters.
“If you are suffering from thirst in the desert, water from a brook, an oasis or a faucet will not be turned away from. So I am going to call for a grand bargain among all the players, using everything that works and putting THAT before the children.
“We can no longer accept what are called food deserts, where good food is not sold. And we can definitely not accept educational deserts that do not prepare our children – across the board, from the bottom to the top – with the finest teaching and the finest teachers. We are Americans. We can recognize, and we can step up. As we could see in Albany (where thousands protested de Blasio’s anti-charter war last week), the public understands when something that is objectively good is suffering because of unnecessary animosities. I know we can do better than that.”