One of the interesting tensions in charter school battles is between progressives who look at charter schools as just a conspiracy of businessmen and, on the other hand, black and Latino people who see black and Latino students getting an education they wouldn’t otherwise. The progressives often seem to regard these people as deluded dupes. While often aligning with progressives otherwise, the people themselves, in this case, just want results.
This kind of tension doesn’t usually surface explicitly, but, at a local Democratic club hosting a panel on education that was really just about charters, it did surface. Audience member Scottie Smith, a long-time African American activist in the West Contra Costa Unified School District, got fed up with the charter-bashing from the panel and gave an interesting statement of her frustrations.