No new charter schools. That’s the request from the NAACP.
The historic and iconic civil rights organization has approved a resolution calling for a moratorium on the expansion of Charter Schools in America.
The resolution states in part:
“Charter schools have contributed to the increased segregation rather than diverse integration of our public school system…
“Weak oversight of charter schools puts students and communities at risk of harm, public funds at risk of being wasted, and further erodes local control of public education.”
This controversial resolution reaffirms a 2014 resolution that “the NAACP opposes the privatization of public schools and/or public subsidizing or funding of for-profit or charter schools.”
It will not become official policy until the NAACP’s national board meeting later on this year, but many of the charter schools they seem to have maligned by approving the “no new charter schools” resolution are actually doing well.
This leads us to the question and the ongoing debate revolving around school choice: Should parents be able to choose other options to enhance their children’s education?
On Tuesday’s edition of NewsOne Now, the school choice debate turned into a highly contested dialogue between Dr. Steve Perry and Hilary Shelton, Bureau Director of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the NAACP.
Shelton stated 18 years ago the NAACP issued their initial stance on charter schools. At that time, they believed “charter schools should at least meet the minimum standard of any public school.”
He continued in many instances since then, “charter schools have been put in places to undercut many of the policies and protections civil rights has provided.”
According to Shelton, teachers should have a degree and be certified before they teach. He continued, “Many charter schools went around that and even hired teachers without degrees at all, creating all kinds of other problems.”
Shelton added, “We have charter schools that were carpetbaggers. They come in and before they can figure out the charter school was not prepared to provide the services, the charter school was gone.”
The NAACP Washington Bureau Director also stated in some instances, charter schools were being used as “tools to maintain segregation.” He continued, “So, in essence, that is why we are calling for a moratorium.”
As you can imagine, none of this sat well with Dr. Steve Perry, Founder and Head of Schools for Capital Preparatory.
Perry responded to the NAACP’s resolution and Shelton’s comments by saying, “They couldn’t be more out of touch if they ran full speed in the other direction.”
“Americans are deciding with their feet that they want to go to better schools.” Perry continued his rebuttal and said the national office of the NAACP is “out of touch even with their own chapters.”
Dr. Perry explained through travels around the United States, he found the biggest proponents of school choice are NAACP local chapters.
“This is more proof that the NAACP has been mortgaged by the teachers union and they keep paying y’all to say what they want to say,” said Perry.
Later during his blistering refutation, Perry told Mr. Shelton, “The group that has most benefited from school choice in general and charters in specific are African-American males.”
“You want to stop the school-to-prison pipeline? Then stop sending Black boys to failed schools that keep funding the NAACP through teachers union dues.”
Watch Roland Martin, Dr. Steve Perry, Hilary Shelton, Shavar Jeffries, and the NewsOne Now discussion on the NAACP resolution to stop charter school expansion in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty