It’s a fact that African Americans are strong supporters of parental choice.
Civitas polling and other national polling results have continually served to substantiate those assertions.
Last month, Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina published a poll that found 65 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate “who supports giving parents more educational options for their children.” The poll also reported that that 85 percent of respondents said state government “needs to do more to provide educational options to African American parents.”
On Saturday the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the oldest civil rights organization in the United States, approved a resolution calling for a moratorium on the expansion of public charters and oversight of these schools.
It’s an understatement to say that minority supporters of school choice were unhappy with the resolution. In a statement on the organization’s web site, Shavar Jeffries, President of Democrats for Education Reform had strong words for the NAACP. Jeffries said:
W.E.B. DuBois is rolling in his grave. The NAACP, a proud organization with a historic legacy of expanding opportunity for communities of color, now itself stands in the schoolhouse door, seeking to deny life-changing educational opportunities to millions of children whose parents and families desperately seek alternatives to schools that have failed them for too long. Public charters schools throughout the country are creating new pathways to college and career that were previously unavailable. The idea that the NAACP would support a blanket moratorium that would apply across-the-board to all charters, including schools like Urban Prep that send 100% of its graduates to college, is a tragic contradiction of what the NAACP has traditionally stood for. The NAACP faces a choice: cling to policies of the past that have failed Black children for decades, or embrace the future and the innovative practices that will create hope and opportunity in places where neither is present. We will continue to stand with Black parents and families throughout the country, as well as leaders of color, including President Obama, in supporting any policy in any form that creates equity and opportunity for children of color. The NAACP has chosen a different path, and history will record its choice.
Dr. William Barber, President of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, has spoken out against charters schools and school choice in the past (See here).
However as of this writing the organization has not yet issued a statement on the resolution.