On October 15, the board of directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on charter school expansion citing accountability issues, funding, student discipline, and segregation.
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“This decision is made with complete disregard for the wishes of African-American parents and their children. Black parents across the country are protesting the NAACP’s decision, and for good reason. African-American parents want choice just like everyone else, and the NAACP’s opposition to choice will prevent kids who need the most alternatives from receiving any.”
“The NAACP resolution is not based in reality. Charter schools are directly accountable to parents and are closed when they do not perform, whereas public schools remain open no matter how bad the results. Charter schools and other education choice options in fact produce better education, especially for children of color, while increasing college enrollment and persistence.”
“If the NAACP truly wants to help black children, it should pass a resolution affirming that black parents should have the freedom to choose the schools their children attend and should not be penalized financially for choosing a private school, whether religious or secular. Empirical evidence shows school choice programs work, and polls show they are broadly popular. All forms of school choice, public and private, should be on the table for the NAACP. The goals for the NAACP should be to ensure school choice for every black parent and to ensure quality schooling for every black child.”
“This declaration from the NAACP runs clearly contrary to the millions of African-American children attending charter schools exclusively because of their parents’ choice to enroll them, and contrary to public opinion findings that show large majorities of black Americans support both charter schools and school vouchers. That’s because black families are among those worst injured by poor public schools and our nation’s system of ZIP code-assigned schooling. This is yet another signal that organizations that purport to represent African-Americans often actually represent the opposite of what these citizens themselves think will give them hope and a future.”
“Unacknowledged by the NAACP is that access to charter schools gives black students and other minorities a great opportunity to escape lives of poverty and/or crime in many urban areas. Most studies show that charters (which are public schools) outperform traditional public schools, and that minorities and the poor are the biggest winners. Typical is a study released by Stanford researchers in 2013 that showed black students gained the equivalent of 14 days of learning by attending charter schools, and that black students living in poverty saw even greater benefits, gaining the equivalent of 29 days in reading and 36 days in math. Also, a 2015 poll showed that 72 percent of black parents favored charter schools, with just 13 percent opposing.”
“Public opinion polls consistently have shown overwhelming support among black parents for having the choice of an innovative charter school within the public system when their assigned conventional school is not serving them well. The NAACP board’s elitist attempt to stifle that public choice option may make minority parents all the more receptive to seeking private avenues to educational opportunity, such as tax-credit scholarships, vouchers, or education savings accounts.”
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