The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has a storied history, but many organizations outlive their moral purpose and it’s now clear this one has. The civil-rights outfit has come down firmly on the side of trapping poor minority children in education failure factories.
On Saturday the NAACP’s national board voted to ratify a resolution adopted at its 2016 national convention calling for a moratorium on the expansion of charter schools. Considering the state of urban K-12 education, this is the equivalent of opposing Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. The NAACP is so blinded by ideology that it is endorsing separate and unequal education for poor minority children for years to come.
The NAACP’s statement Saturday shows how out of touch its well-to-do board members are with American education. It calls for a ban on new charters until “charter schools are subject to the same transparency and accountability standards as public schools.”
Hello? Inner-city schools are the definition of unaccountable as they promote failure year after year. Charters should be held accountable, and some charter operators have done a poor job. But they can be and are shut down. The proof of charter performance are the long waiting lists in most cities to get in. Parents vote for charters with their feet when spaces are available.
The NAACP statement also wants a charter ban until “public funds are not diverted to charter schools at the expense of the public school system.” But charters are public schools, albeit without the union and tenure rules that retard student learning. A 2015 Stanford study found that urban charters on average provide 40 more days of learning in math and 28 days in reading than comparable traditional schools. The NAACP rejects this evidence of educational advancement in favor of bowing to the union desire for political control.
The statement even has the gall to claim “there is no time to wait. Our children immediately deserve the best education we can provide.” If these gentry progressives are waiting for urban schools to reform without competition from charters or vouchers they are consigning generations of children to diminished lives.
The vote should cause the NAACP’s corporate donors to reconsider. Any CEO who donates to a group that opposes charters should never again whine about the “skills gap” or claim to care about education reform.