Black and Latino Parents and Educators Deride NAACP’s Call for a Charter School Moratorium

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First, some reactions from  parents of color who attended last weekend’s NJ Parent Summit. During a session called “How Race and Class Impact Student Learning and Development,” the packed room burst into cheers when Derrell Bradford branded the NAACP’s anti-charter school agenda  “bullshit” and Ron Rice noted that NAACP board members “better be ready to send their kids to the schools that would be left without charters.”

 An audience member scoffed,”you know that the NAACP board members don’t live in Newark and Camden.”

Are you listening, NAACP? Here’s more:

Sharif El-Mekki, Philadelphia charter school principal:

Today’s version of the NAACP isn’t woke. It’s more woozy than anything. The leaders of the NAACP have lost their way and are stumbling, bumbling caricatures of their former selves… 

What they should be demanding is a moratorium for failing schools in every zip code. That is what would be a worthy cause of a civil rights organization. This most recent resolution was purchased by national teacher unions and sells out Black families.

Jacqueline Cooper, president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options

The fact that the NAACP wants a national moratorium on charter schools, many of which offer a high-quality education to low-income and working-class Black children, is inexplicable.”The resolution is ill-conceived and based on lies and distortions about the work of charter schools.

Raymond Ankrum, charter school principal and charter parent at Urban School Talk

 I’ve read previous articles that cast the NAACP as out of touch with the Black Community.  I’ve also read past articles stating that the NAACP was and has been mortgaged by theteacher’s union.  I recently watched a conversation on TV1 in which a fellow school leader, Dr. Steve Perry, Shavar Jeffries, & TV One News host Roland Martin spoke candidly on how the NAACP got it wrong with calling for this resolution for a moratorium on charter schools.

Shavar Jeffries from Democrats for Education Reform:

This moratorium would contravene the NAACP’s historic legacy as a champion for expanding opportunity for families of color. In communities of color throughout our country, public charter schools are providing pathways to college and careers that previously were not available. Indiscriminately targeting all charter schools, even the many great public charter schools that are offering students a bridge to college, while ignoring underperforming district schools, undermines the quality and integrity of our entire education system. We should be fixing what’s broken and expanding what works, not pre-empting the choices of parents of color about the best schools appropriate for meeting the particular needs of their children.

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  • Kevin Davis, August 12, 2016 @ 2:35 pm Reply

    Charter schools, stop and frisk, and for profit prisons are a part of the same policy continuum. These policies are forced onto black and Latino communities in which we dare not speak up. The history of the market being unfair to vulnerable communities is well documented.

  • Julia, August 13, 2016 @ 1:01 pm Reply

    From a former leader of a New Orleans charter school group, via the Hechinger Report:

    “The Black Lives Matter collective – representing approximately 50 organizations – released an official platform last week titled a Vision for Black Lives. Its education section called for an end to the privatization of education and petitioned for more community control of schools. A list of demands included “a moratorium on charter schools and school closures.” The NAACP also took a stand against charters at their annual national convention by approving a resolution that calls for a moratorium on the expansion of privately managed charters. It has yet to be approved by the national board.”

    “ Education reformers expect students, teachers and parents to be grateful and accept test score growth in return, just as black communities were expected to be grateful when crime dropped even as incarceration rates rose.”

    “What took black activists so long to turn their attention to how black lives are discounted in school reform? One reason: the imposition of charters — which have expanded much faster in cities versus suburban and rural areas — undermined the power of black communities to fight back.”


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