Baltimore, also known as Charm City for those who grew up there, is my hometown. When I was a kid, Mayor Kurt Schmoke used his inaugural address to declare that education was one of his top priorities: “It would make me the proudest if one day it could simply be said that this is a city that reads.”
Thirty years of strife and lackluster education have, instead—in my mind as well as the minds of many others—given Baltimore a very different name that’s impossible to shake: “The City That Burned.”
So it strikes me as surreal that at its national convention in Charm City, a place where the fight for black opportunity may burn hottest, the NAACP issued its latest set of cold edicts to kill America’s—and Baltimore’s—charter schools. It’s offered a set of black-and-white notions, which would end the concept of chartering as we know it, in a town now infamous for the name Gray. You’d have to look the other way to miss the irony.
I participated in a debate on the organization’s charter school moratorium hosted by the NYC Bar Association just a few weeks ago. The NAACP board member, a former Goldman Sachs executive, participating in...