DFER National President Shavar Jeffries Statement on NAACP Education Task Force Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DFER National President Shavar Jeffries Statement on NAACP Education Task Force Report

Washington, DC – Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) National President Shavar Jeffries today released the following statement in response to the NAACP education task force report:

“We commend the NAACP for its longstanding commitment to expanding educational opportunity for students of color. The organization’s legacy in this regard speaks for itself, and we proudly stand with the NAACP on wide-ranging issues concerning equity and opportunity for young people. And, concerning its recently released education task force report, we support the NAACP’s call for more equitable education funding and applaud them for highlighting the need for more high-quality teachers in low-income communities. We are ready to work together in support of initiatives like this to attract and retain high-quality educators in low-income schools, such as by providing increased compensation to teachers and leaders in those schools, even when it goes against the grain of the vast majority of collective bargaining agreements.

“However, we continue to be troubled and disappointed with the NAACP’s focus on attacking public charter schools, schools that in many cities represent the best educational hope for Black families. While we believe the task force did raise some legitimate concerns about for-profit charters and the need for more charter community engagement, the report fails to acknowledge that in many places, and indeed in most cities, public charter schools are meeting every standard that the NAACP proposes they meet. This approach not only fails the “evidence-based” tests the task force laid out in their report, but also overlooks the increasing cooperation between public charter schools, traditional schools, and other types of schools in cities all over the country.

“We are at a critical point in time where those who support our system of public education need to be working together to defend and strengthen each and every quality public school, regardless of who runs it. Our shared interest in ensuring every student has access to a quality public education must keep us from sowing divisions among ourselves, especially while our adversaries seek to defund education and obliterate any accountability whatsoever for schools that receive public funds.”

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Contact: Ashley Johnson — ashleyj@dfer.org, 908-209-8992