NAACP doubles down on rejection of broad charter investment

28 Juillet, 2017, 03:32 | Author: Marc Bacque
  • NAACP: School choice not the answer to improving education for black students

The report comes as the Trump administration has put expanding school choice at the center of its education agenda, and a year after the NAACP - long skeptical of charter schools - dove headlong into the education policy fight with a resolution supporting a moratorium on new charter schools.

In a report released Wednesday, the organization's education task force wrote charter schools were meant to help infuse innovation into the traditional public school system, which they say has not happened.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools responded in a statement that did not address the NAACP's specific recommendations but pushed back against the notion that the charter school model is in need of more regulation. As it lays out its myriad findings, the report can read a bit like the greatest hits of the charter debate: Some say charters cherry pick the best students, others say they don't. The NAACP's stance has received more attention since the appointment of Betsy Devos as U.S. Secretary of Education.

"It is surprising and disappointing that the NAACP has not listened to African American families who have seen the impact of charter schools on their communities", said Vanessa Descalzi, a spokeswoman for the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools. "Absolutely. But that solution must be intentional, well-planned growth that takes into account the health and sustainability of the entire public education system, including the so-called traditional public schools that educate 90 percent of our country's students". In Maryland, they are considered part of the public school system in which they are located.

Charter school advocates in Maryland have been trying to get legislation passed that would allow other groups or governing bodies to authorize charter schools to operate. Charter schools exacerbate racial segregation; no they don't.

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A lack of consistent standards about who is authorized to run charter schools, requirements for teacher and administrator training and credentialing requirements and curriculum standards has led many to argue that the quality of education is being compromised for children who most needed a jolt to their educational experiences. Since then, the number of charter schools in the US has risen dramatically, outstripping the ability of states and school districts to hold them accountable to the same basic safeguards and standards as public schools.

The NAACP report said the states with the fewest charter authorizers have some of the strongest schools.

The report also calls for the elimination of for-profit charters, which Maryland already prohibits.

"America's educators stand in solidarity with our students of color".


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