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Did NAACP roll back call for charter moratorium?

There appears to be an increasing number of articles saying that the NAACP has taken a softer tone or even rolled back the 2016 call for a charter moratorium. In this blog post I’ll set the record straight based on my personal perspectives.

On the first point, my read is that the leaders and members of the organization are still absolutely concerned about transparency and accountability in the charter sector. There’s mucho more I’d like to say about this, but I don’t want charter proponents who aren’t interested in reform to be able to prepare for what is coming.

On the second point, in my post yesterday (Roundup of NAACP’s Harder Stance on Charter Schools) there were a few media outlets (and now more blogs) that are misreporting the gist of the NAACP’s Task Force on High Quality Education. I even had a phone call with blogger Steven Singer today assuring him that the moratorium has not been rolled back.

I suspect the spread of this rumor is due to a misunderstanding about how the NAACP does its work. Let me quickly discuss the process of a civil rights resolution in the organization. A resolution first comes from a local unit— i.e. the San Jose California chapter (true story). It then often goes to a state resolution convention (this part can vary state to state). After state approval, then it goes to a national resolutions committee. Moving on from the national committee is not a forgone conclusion. For example, my resolution this year about community schools did not make it out of the national resolutions committee. If it leaps that hurdle, it finally goes to the floor of the national convention for a vote by more than 2,000 delegates from across the United States. After a resolution hurdles each of these steps, it goes up for a vote at the NAACP national board’s fall meeting. If the national board votes for ratification, the resolution becomes the national policy of the organization.

Clearly, the process for a civil rights resolution is extended and democratic.

So what does the NAACP’s Task Force on Quality Education think about all of this? You can listen to the the NAACP national board chair discuss the moratorium and the creation of the NAACP Task Force on High Quality Education process on Facebook LIVE here:

Would you like to hear what the members of the Task Force learned during their year long listening tour across the United States? I suspect their perspectives on charters might surprise you. I continued filming the discussion at the convention in the YouTube video below.

In sum, there was NO CHARTER MORATORIUM REPEAL RESOLUTION passed at the 2017 NAACP national convention in Baltimore. So, the charter moratorium call is still the national policy of the organization. Anyone who says otherwise either has a political agenda or doesn’t understand how the NAACP functions.

I hope this perspective sets the record straight. Thanks for reading Cloaking Inequity.

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About Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig (678 Articles)
Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State Sacramento.

6 Comments on Did NAACP roll back call for charter moratorium?

  1. Mary, the statement that’s quoted above from October 15t , 2016 is the National NAACP Board’s Official Statement *about* the resolution upon their ratification of it– it is not the actual moratorium resolution that was approved by members. The actual official, approved resolution calling for a moratorium on charter school expansion (that is still their current policy position) is on page 33 of the following document: http://www.naacp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Resolutions.2016.pdf and included in text form in the 2nd half of this post: https://eduresearcher.com/2016/10/21/naacp/

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  2. Thanks for this update, Julian. The original resolution is rarely if ever cited in media reports and blogs, so there’s a great deal of misinterpretation and misinformation about it. Here is a link that includes both the National Board’s Statement in October as well as the text of the original 2016 Resolution: https://eduresearcher.com/2016/10/21/naacp/

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  3. Kristyn Jones // July 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm // Reply

    I was a delegate at the NEA RA in Boston. I put forth an NBI calling on the NEA to call for a moratorium, it was defeated. However a similar resolution that NEA support locals in calls for moratoria did pass! So, to me with NEA ‘s new charter policy which distinguishes between si called good and bad charter sand attempts to reform and unionize charters, NEA is moving away from moratorium towards reform. It seems that the NAACP is also moving in this direction but they haven’t lifted the moratorium…yet. Hopefully they don’t. Thank you for your work Dr. Helig.

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    • I believe that the new charter policy on charters approved at the NEA RA included a call for a moratorium.

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      • The NAACP is an actual mass organization. The Representatives Assembly itself voted unanimously for a complete charter authorization moratorium, until ALL FOUR of their areas were addressed together, with legal protection for children of color. It isn’t so easy for a charter-vested leadership to sweep that away, but some are trying. We need to compare the actual resolution, which is still in force, with the statement released last week.

        October 15, 2016
        “CINCINNATI – Members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Board of Directors ratified a resolution Saturday adopted by delegates at its 2016 107th National Convention calling for a moratorium on charter school expansion and for the strengthening of oversight in governance and practice.

        “We are calling for a moratorium on the expansion of the charter schools at least until such time as:
        (1) Charter schools are subject to the same transparency and accountability standards as public schools
        (2) Public funds are not diverted to charter schools at the expense of the public school system
        (3) Charter schools cease expelling students that public schools have a duty to educate and
        (4) Charter schools cease to perpetuate de facto segregation of the highest performing children from those whose aspirations may be high but whose talents are not yet as obvious.”
        https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/08/10/naacp-drafts-new-resolution-calling-moratorium-charter-schools/

        Notice there are two demands –
        1. A moratorium on expansion “at least until” all four areas are remedied.
        2. Strengthening of oversight in governance and practice of existing charter schools.

        The Task Force Report released last week distorts the resolution, and its preface collapses both strong demands to create one very weak betrayal.
        This is its outright lie:

        “In July 2016, during the 107th National Convention, delegates unanimously passed a Resolution calling for a moratorium on charter school expansion until there is accountability and transparency in their operations.”
        http://www.naacp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Task_ForceReport_final2.pdf

        Our support for the membership of the NAACP, and for those leaders who defend it, should be unwavering and respectful.

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      • The NEA resolution only calls for a “moratorium” on charter schools that don’t meet the standards they lay out, rather than a moratorium on all charter authorizations. Big difference.. So, the NEA supports piecemeal charter authorization and calls it a moratorium
        .

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