The Wall Street Journal is a fierce, unrelenting advocate of privatization. It loves vouchers and charters. It despises public schools and teachers’ unions. It is contemptuous of teachers. It recently published an editorial claiming that members of the NAACP were “in revolt” against the national organization, which has called for a moratorium on charters. The resolution, passed in 2016, was not passed frivolously. It was preceded by the work of a task force that held hearings in seven cities, listening to parents.

Black Lives Matter Organization also called for a charter moratorium at the same time as the NAACP. I mention this because a charter advocate on Twitter belittled the NAACP by saying its members were aging and out of touch. He could not say the same about BLM. Frankly, the fact that the far-right libertarian Wall Street Journal supports charters is reason enough to question the motives behind the charter “movement.” Unlike the civil rights movement, which had a broad base among people of color, the drive for charters is financed by hedge fund managers, equity investors, entrepreneurs, and major corporations. These are not bastions of progressivism. Nor is Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal.

Derrick Johnson, president of the National NAACP, answered the editorial.

He wrote:

Regarding your May 7 editorial “An NAACP Revolt on Charters”: Let us be clear—a quality education should be provided to all children. As we commemorate the 65th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision, we continue to face a legacy problem that can only be fixed if our nation commits to prioritizing education and reforming inadequate and unequal operations that only continue to harm students.

In 2016 the NAACP called for a moratorium on charter-school expansion and for the strengthening of oversight in governance and practice. The charter-school system lacks necessary transparencies and clear accountability, as it siphons off funds from already underresourced school districts. As for public schools, they lack the required support from policy makers to acquire well-paid, quality teachers for students who are most in need, without unnecessary bureaucracy and over-testing.

The NAACP has been a strong supporter of public education and has denounced movements toward privatization that divert public funds to support nonpublic school choices. We have demanded that children and teachers in charter schools have the same civil rights and protections as children and teachers in traditional public schools. We have also demanded that levels of oversight and transparency in charter schools, at a minimum, be comparable to traditional public schools.

Because of this, it is clear that the information in your editorial is not representative of the findings of the LA School Report and policy decisions agreed upon during our annual convention in 2016. The unit resolutions were considered by our national committee and did not pass, therefore our national position is the only position of the association.

It is unconscionable to have children attend any schools—public or private charter—that are inadequately and inequitably equipped to prepare them for the innovative and competitive environment they will face as adults. The U.S. has one of the most unequal school-funding systems of any country in the industrialized world, and education funding has been inadequate and unequal for students of color for decades.

As our nation continues to struggle to fully invest in the quality education, we must remember that this fight is far from over because separate can never be equal.

Derrick Johnson

President, NAACP

Baltimore