NAACP Doubts That School Choice Helps Black Children

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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School choice does not solve the problem of helping black children get a better education, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said Wednesday.

NAACP leaders gathered at a conference to release a report on the organization’s views on charter schools and what recommendations they have to make charter schools work for black children, reports the Washington Post.

The report, which came almost a year after the group called for a complete moratorium on charter schools, drew from a task force of 12 that talked about charter schools and education with various people at hearings in seven cities.

The report suggested that charters schools operate under more regulations, and called for all charter schools that run for profit to be shut down.

“While high-quality, accountable, and accessible charters can contribute to educational opportunity, by themselves, even the best charters are not a substitute for more stable, adequate and equitable investments in public education” the task force wrote in the report.

The report also called for more accountability in charter schools. To achieve this, the NAACP task force suggested that charter schools admit all students and try to keep the ones that have academic or behavior problems. They also want all teachers who work in charter schools to be certified.

Some school choice advocates came out against the report, saying they were left out of the NAACP task force’s listening tour.

“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 with the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools.

The report takes a softer stance on charter schools than the NAACP’s previous position on them. The group called for a freeze on charter schools in July 2016, saying that they were going to fight against legislation that helped or funded private and charter schools.

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Amber Randall