BAEO President Jacqueline Cooper issued the following statement on the release of the “NAACP Task Force on Education Quality” report that proposes a series of new recommendations aimed at improving the public education system that serves urban communities. The NAACP is pushing for a 10-year moratorium on new charter schools as well as placing existing charter schools under the control of traditional school districts.
The NAACP report finally acknowledges the education nightmare many parents and their children face in our public education system. For far too long, low-income and working-class Black families have been ill-served by a system that, from the very beginning, was never created with the interest of Black children in mind. We also agree that all public schools—traditional district and charter—should be accountable and transparent to the communities they serve.
Still, I find it ironic and troubling that a storied organization like the NAACP, which led a powerful movement to tear down barriers for Black people, is working to create new ones in education. Working to develop “model legislation” to implement a 10-year moratorium on new charter schools and place existing ones under the control of traditional school districts is ill-advised and irrational at best, and does nothing to advance the educational interest of Black children.
We don’t see the NAACP pushing traditional school districts to innovate their curriculum; or hold teachers and administrators more accountable; or increase quality; or provide more flexibility to our most vulnerable families. These are all areas charter schools are currently engaged, and despite the tenor of the report, will continue to be.
The NAACP didn’t even acknowledge in its report new data on college completion that showed low-income students of color from cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Newark, NJ, who graduate from top charter networks, earn four-year degrees at rates up to five times higher than their counterparts in traditional public schools.
Low-income and working-class Black families deserve more of these high-performing schools, not less.”
About the Black Alliance for Educational Options:
The Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) is a national, non-profit education advocacy organization, founded in 2000 by prominent Black educators, elected officials and civil rights activists. BAEO’s mission is to increase access to high-quality educational options for Black children by actively supporting transformational education reform initiatives and parental choice policies that empower low-income and working-class Black families. For more information on BAEO visit http://www.baeo.org.