Press Release

NAACP Task Force to Hold Memphis Hearing on Education Quality

January 8, 2017

Jan. 10 Discussion between Public and Charter Education Advocates will include Charter Impacts on Underfunded School Districts

MEMPHIS, TN – A new NAACP task force studying education quality will be taking input from advocates, teachers, parents, and policy experts next week.

The NAACP National Task Force for Quality Education, along with The Tennessee State Conference of the NAACP, will host the second of several national public hearings concerning public education quality and the impact of charter schools on underfunded school districts.

“In our communities in Memphis and around the nation, public education has always been the fountain of opportunity and we’ve got to ensure that in our attempts to improve it, we don’t unintentionally let it run dry,” said NAACP CEO and President Cornell William Brooks. “Ensuring that underfunded districts are not disparately impacted by the growth of charters or privatization has always been a priority for the NAACP.”

This event is the second hearing organized by the Task Force for Quality Education.

The task force was created in October after board members approved a moratorium on expanding public charter school fundinguntil safeguards are in place to provide better transparency regarding accountability, and to prevent cases of fraud and mismanagement.

The hearing is set for Tuesday, January 10 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at 3700 Central Ave. in Memphis.

The first task force hearing was held in early December in New Haven, CT. Future hearings are planned in Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY, New Orleans, LA and Orlando, FL.

Educators, administrators, parents, students, elected officials, and education policy experts from throughout Tennessee will participate in the hearing.

“This is the second of seven hearings to be held around the nation taking a deep look at the issues facing public schools as well as the pros and cons of charter schools,” said Gloria Sweet-Love, President, Tennessee State Conference, Member, NAACP National Board of Directors and Member, National Task Force on Quality Education.

Invited key participants will include:

  • Dr. Carol Johnson, Former Director of Schools (Boston City, St. Paul, MN, and Memphis)
  • Mr. David Pickler, Co-Founder, American Public Education
  • Ms. Teresa Jones, Attorney, and Chair of the Shelby County School Board
  • Dr. Earl Watkins, Chair of Mississippi State NAACP Education Committee
  • Dr. Merwyn L. Scott, Director Minority Community Organizing & Partnership Dept., National Education Association (NEA)
  • Ms. Malika Anderson, Superintendent of Achievement School District
  • Ms. Maya Bugg, CEO of the Tennessee Charter Center
  • Dr. Patrick Washington, Director Promise Academy
  • Charter School Advocates

“By bringing people from our community together from both sides, we can better understand the impact of charters on school funding and gain more transparency concerning their impact on public schools,” said Alice Huffman, chairman of the task force and president of the California State Conference of the NAACP.

Visitors who wish to speak at the hearing are asked to pre-register one hour before the session begins. To accommodate the public, individual speakers may be asked to adhere to a time limit or to appoint a representative to speak on behalf of a group.


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.