Although charter schools reportedly serve an estimated six percent of the nation’s public school students through roughly 7,000 institutions, the NAACP believes they “divert already-limited funds from public schools” while segregating high performing children from students “whose aspirations may be high but whose talents are not yet as obvious.”
“We are moving forward to require that charter schools receive the same level of oversight, civil rights protections and provide the same level of transparency, and we require the same of traditional public schools,” Chairman Roslyn Brock said on Saturday (Oct. 15). “Our decision today is driven by a long held principle and policy of the NAACP that high quality, free, public education should be afforded to all children.”
While they recognize that traditional public schools “have much work to do” to transform their “underfunded and under-supported” classrooms in a technologically advanced society, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots-based civil rights organization is committed to addressing how charter schools impede such progression first.
“The NAACP’s resolution is not inspired by ideological opposition to charter schools but by our historical support of public schools – as well as today’s data and the present experience of NAACP branches in nearly every school district in the nation,” Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP, continued. “Our NAACP members, who as citizen advocates, not professional lobbyists, are those who attend school board meetings, engage with state legislatures and support both parents and teachers.”
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nina Rees has since called the policy “misguided” according to the Huffington Post. “Across the country, charter public schools are working for hundreds of thousands of black families. Today’s decision doesn’t just ignore the fact that charter schools are working for so many students and families,” she released in a statement. “It also ignores the thousands of families and black leaders who have stepped forward over the last two months urging the NAACP to reconsider their decision.”
The charter school debate continues online, where several have turned to support or slam the NAACP’s decision following the news.
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) October 17, 2016
@NAACP The NNPA salutes the NAACP for making high quality education for all students a priority and in particular for all Black students
— Dr. Benjamin Chavis (@DrBenChavis) October 16, 2016
— Preston Harris (@prestospeaklife) October 15, 2016
The @NAACP can pass whatever they want. They won’t marginalize the voices of the black people choosing independent public schools.
— Citizen Stewart (@citizenstewart) October 15, 2016
— Patrick (@PresidentPat) October 16, 2016
— Howard Fuller (@HowardLFuller) October 15, 2016
— Juana Delacruz (@Juana1Delacruz) October 16, 2016
What are your thoughts?