In an unexpected turn of events, the NAACP recently approved an internal resolution calling for the end of expansion of all charter schools across the nation until said schools meet new criteria set forth by the organization.
The NAACP lacks power to enforce such demands; nevertheless, their resolution has raised the hackles of various institutions and community members questioning whether the motive was really student-based or politically and economically influenced.
Though the NACCP’s vote against charter schools has drawn the ire of school officials, administrators and parents alike, Benjamin Chavis, iconic civil rights leader and president of the National Newspaper Publisher’s Association, called for a wider scope.
“I think there needs to be high-quality educational institutions implemented nationally, for all black students,” Chavis said. “That is the issue. Not charter schools versus public, because charter schools are public.
“We need to be debating over how to give all of our black students — grades pre-K through 12th — high-quality education,” Chavis said. “Anything that takes away from that focus is a disservice.”
Leading educator Steve Perry, who currently operates Capital Prep Harlem, the new charter school opened in New York City by Sean “Diddy” Combs, was not so forgiving, blasting the NAACP’s resolution as “absurd.”
“The NAACP national headquarters has received a significant amount of money from the teachers’ union,” Perry said. “The only organizations to call for a moratorium on charter schools in particular, because they are non-union, are the teachers’ unions.
“They couldn’t be more out of touch if they ran full speed in the other direction,” Perry said. “The national (NAACP) is out of touch even with their own chapters.”
The NAACP has stayed mum, but the national backlash has intensified, with News One anchor Roland Martin chiding NAACP Washington Bureau Chief Hillary Shelton for not reaching out to parents before passing the resolution.
The Wall Street Journal also excoriated the NAACP’s idea of “advancement” now being to advance interests of unionized public school monopolies over the interests of black students and their parents, calling the move a “disgrace.”