Lord knows I’ve criticized Juan Williams for his beliefs that the Benghazi and IRS scandals are all about politics. I stand by those criticisms. Just about the time that I’m ready to dismiss Williams, he writes an article like this one that makes me realize that there’s more to Juan Williams than the political creature we see on TV.

If there’s a place where conservatives should join forces with Juan Williams, it’s on the subject of education. Here’s why:

Last week, 60 years after the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional with its 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, a group called “Journey for Justice Alliance” sent civil rights complaints to the Justice and Education departments. The group argued that too many failing public schools in black neighborhoods are being closed and replaced with charter schools.

You read that right.

When it comes to reforming the education system, Juan Williams sounds like the staunchest conservative imaginable. Here’s proof:

This attack on charter schools comes a week after the House, in a rare bipartisan vote, approved a bill to put more federal dollars into expanding charter schools. The House Education and the Workforce Committee bill was written by its Republican chairman, John Kline of Minnesota, and supported by its ranking Democrat, George Miller of California.

Kline told reporters that Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, supports the bill and will urge Senate Democrats to pass it. In a Congress politically paralyzed over efforts to update the Bush administration’s plan for improving public school performance, No Child Left Behind, the charter school bill is the first sign of a breakthrough.

It’s time for conservatives to start highlighting their commitment to beefing up funding for alternatives to government schools.

It’s been said that education is the civil rights movement of the 21st Century. Whether it is or isn’t is something I’ll let others decide. I’ll just highlight another part of Juan’s article:

Thurgood Marshall, the lawyer who won the Brown case and later became a Supreme Court justice, told me as I was writing his biography that the case was not really about having black and white children sitting next to each other. Its true purpose was to make sure that predominantly white and segregationist school officials would put maximum resources into giving every child, black or white, a chance to get a good education.

But now people described as liberal “activists” are filing complaints against closing bad neighborhood schools. They put more value on having a bad neighborhood school than getting a child into an excellent school. The charge that some charter schools are no better than the neighborhood schools being closed ignores the truth that some charter schools have produced better results. Also, parents have the choice to pull their children out of charter schools that do not help their children.

In the 1950s, white-hot bigotry existed on a widespread basis. Racism still exists but nothing like what existed in the 1950s. Conservatives should join forces with thoughtful liberals like Juan Williams in making charter schools the education movement of the 21st Century.

First and most importantly, it’s the morally right thing to do. Second, creating competition will force the teachers’ unions to decide whether they’d rather become irrelevant or whether they’d prefer becoming part of the solution. When Juan Williams criticizes the teachers unions, it’s time for conservatives to join with him in creating an alternative to government schools.

There are now minority parents and civil right groups being used as props by teachers’ unions to oppose school choice by calling efforts to close failing neighborhood schools the “new Jim Crow.”

It’s time to expose the race hustlers as not being interested in improving people’s lives. They’re in it to make a fast buck for themselves. Race hustlers like Mssrs. Sharpton and Jackson should be put out of business ASAP.

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One Response to “Juan Williams’ education reform fight”

  • J. Ewing says:

    Here’s a crazy idea. Let’s let neighborhood schools (or the district school board) act as the contractor for education services, and contract out the use of their building. The union could bid for each of the class offerings, and one or more charter schools or private schools could bid for those they had the resources to offer. That’s the best of both worlds. If Charter A has the resources to put a bang-up Spanish teacher in place, let the union teacher who barely knows “Hola” to say “Adios.” If the charter doesn’t have a good basketball coach or music teacher, the union teacher gets the job. Best of both worlds, and the competition would be immediate and beneficial.

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