Black education reformers lament 'out of touch' NAACP

“The NAACP was formed to help and not to hurt, and that is what I think they are doing right now,” Virginia Walden Ford, a longtime activist in the education reform movement, told “They’ve lost the ability to go into the community to see what people had to say. They are not partnering with the community.”

The NAACP’s national board is set to vote Oct. 15 to finalize a resolution proposing a moratorium on new charter schools, claiming public charters targeting low-income and minority areas drain funding and abet segregation.

In response, the Black Alliance for Educational Options and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools launched the ChartersWork campaign, with 160 African-American education leaders signing a letter opposing the NAACP’s call for a moratorium. A parent sign-on letter had more than 1,000 signatures as of Oct. 6.

Chris Stewart, director of outreach and external affairs at the Education Post and a community leader in Chicago who signed the ChartersWork letter, told the NAACP is out of touch with the African-American community.

“Every day more people are signing on and becoming more resolute about not allowing a retail civil rights organization to sell us down a river,” Stewart said. “But, to date, the NAACP has shown no interest in meeting with black people that disagree with them — even after repeated requests.”

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