Pop quiz, parents: who thinks you're too stupid to know what's best for your children?
The head of a teachers' union, of course.
Keith Williams, a union boss (pictured at right) in Tennessee, made that suggestion in a PBS Newshour broadcast that toured a Memphis charter school known as Freedom Prep Academy.
The eight-minute news segment (see below) struck a sympathetic tone about charter schools in the poverty-stricken city, allowing black parents to defend Freedom Prep and criticize black leaders who are trying to block charter schools.
Among those attempting to fight charter schools in the Memphis area is a local chapter of the NAACP, the broadcast reported.
Also among those criticizing the education experiment is Williams, who was identified as the head of Tennessee's largest local teachers union.
"It sounds to me," the PBS correspondent challenged Williams, "like you're saying parents shouldn't have a choice – aren't smart enough to know where they kids should go to school."
"I am saying," Williams lectured, "that some parents are not capable of determining venues that will be the most advantageous for their children. And that is a fact."
Memphis is a good example why charter schools are flourishing, says Matt Frendeway of the American Federation for Children.
Among the public schools in Memphis, he says, more than 50 schools there are in the bottom five percent of the entire state.
"They view education as a business that they own and any threat of competition as bad, and that's shameful," Frendeway says of the teachers' unions.
"It demonstrates," he adds, "that they don't have the best interest of students at heart."