Yes, yes – ‘education is the civil rights issue of our time.’ If the 40,000 variations on that theme didn’t sink in during the 2008 campaign season, I get 140-character reminders often enough via Twitter.
And when was the last time we saw any sort of civil rights crowd that didn’t have a well-coifed Al Sharpton at the front – or trying to muscle his way to the front – with one eye searching for the media and the other eye searching for a mirror?
Get used to Al in Education, folks. That ‘Strong Schools’ bit last year was the calm before the annoying, prolonged, ineffectual drizzle that’s a Sharpton storm.
Here’s a press release/e-mail I got the other day. I’ll parse it.
Did you see that Al Sharpton, Mike Bloomberg, and Newt Gingrich came together today — and at the White House of all places? The meeting was to discuss education equality and how to improve our nation’s schools. It was a remarkable gathering and you can read about the event here: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/05/07/gingrich_bloomberg_and_sharpto.html?wprss=44
Trios are good. Sometimes individually great men combine to make something greater – like the Three Tenors, or even Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting singing “All for One [and All for Love]” on The Three Musketeers soundtrack.
This combination – unlike the two cited above – has a weak, embarrassing link. Gingrich could be a classic Kenny Rogers and Bloomberg one of those successful but ever-evolving David Bowie types. Sharpton, however, is not to be taken seriously. He’s a bit like the ukulele player Tiny Tim, God rest his soul.
Can you imagine what song we’d get from Kenny Rogers, David Bowie and Tiny Tim?
And you can see footage of the event here: http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0509/unlikely_trio_at_the_w_h_444542bd-4539-431b-abf6-f06fca3f1f77.html or here http://www.edequality.org
I’d rather hear the song.
The meeting was in advance of education equality day, which will feature thousands of people coming together to demand education equality in Washington DC on May 16th: http://edequality.org/page/s/eepday
Let me know if you have any questions.
Here’s one: Why does anyone in education take Al Sharpton seriously? How quickly we’ve forgotten his actions in the Tawana Brawley case, his outright racism and his lifelong defense of his actions. Don’t bother Googling for Sharpton’s apologies to Stephen Pagones, the others he accused of rape, defilement and hatred, New York State or the public. He’s never uttered any.
And how spineless we’ve become, especially in public education, not to hold a man like Sharpton to account. Sharpton’s prominent involvement in education issues shows how weak the field of education leaders really is – and how badly we need some respectable, heroic leaders.
I’m getting tired of scoundrels like Al Sharpton, but I’m more tired of the milquetoasts who let it slide. I’ll pass on “Education Equality Day” in lieu of celebrating “High Standards and Integrity Day.”
Some of us celebrate that one every day. Do you?