In today's Wall Street Journal, Education Secretary Rod Paige gives a blistering critique of the NAACP leadership, accusing Julian Bond and Kweisi Mfume of taking "a proud, effective organization in a totally new direction: naked partisan politics, pure and simple." Specifically, Paige accuses the NAACP leaders of attacking NCLB - whose goals are designed to improve the educational opportunity for black students - "merely because of its origins in the Bush administration." Paige argues that, while he agrees with Mr. Bond that "we still have two school systems in this country: one that serves children well and the other that hasn't," he strongly believes "the answer to this problem is to ensure that schools focus on the needs of the children first, not the 'system,'" which is "what NCLB is about." The article is a must-read, particularly for blacks who have been brow-beaten by their peers for not toeing the party line on education issues.
"Naked Partisans," by Rod Paige, Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2004 (subscription required)