Peter Greene writes that student protests in Newark have exposed the lie about corporate reform defending civil rights. Thousands of students in Newark, mostly African American, went into the streets to oppose the corporate reform policies of the superintendent Cami Anderson. She was given an assignment by Governor Chris Christie to privatize the public schools of Newark.

The students demand to be heard but no one will listen.

Greene writes:

“As always, the students’ actions were thoughtful, measured and positive. Their message was vocal and clear. Accountability for superintendent Cami Anderson (skewered in one sign as “$cami”). A return to local control. And end to charter takeover of schools that have no need of takeover.

“Imagine you are someone thinking, “I believe that equitable education is the civil rights issue of our era. I believe that students who are not wealthy and not white are not represented and their needs are not respected. I am concerned that without test results, these students will become invisible.”

“Could you possibly have stood in Newark and said, “Boy, I just wish there were some way to find out what black families and students want, or what they think about the direction of education in Newark….

“Reformsters repeatedly claim that they are most concerned about American students like the students of Newark. The students of Newark have given them a chance to put their money where their mouths are, and reformsters have stayed silent. Cami Anderson remains unwilling to so much as talk to the students of Newark, and no leading “reform” voice has stepped up to call her out.

“Newark is a clear and vivid demonstration that reformster talk about civil rights and the importance of hearing and responding to the voices of students and families– it’s all a lie. In walking out, the students of Newark have stood up, not just for their own community and schools, but for students and communities all across the country.”