NAACP 6th Biennial Daisy Bates Summit Convenes to Assess Federal Government's Progress in Education

A backdrop for the execution of historic partnerships and educational strategic planning

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will lead the call to assess progress in education initiatives during the 6th Biennial Daisy Bates Education Summit in Charlotte, N.C., May 12-14, 2005 at the Omni Hotel. This year's theme is "With All Deliberate Speed: Assessing the National Progress In Educating All Children."

Dr. John Jackson, NAACP National Education Director, said: "We convene the Daisy Bates Summit against the backdrop of the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board II decision which ordered school districts to desegregate 'with all deliberate speed," and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Each of these anniversaries requires us to assess the federal government's effectiveness in ensuring access to a high quality education for all children. The Summit works to shape and strengthen an education advocacy agenda that is measurable, effective and capable of reducing the existing racial disparities in our education system."

The NAACP goal is to use the Summit as a platform to conduct education assessments while convening with state partners to strengthen efforts to close the achievement gaps and assist in meeting the benchmarks in the No Child Left Behind Act.

Attending the Summit will be teachers, administrators, researchers, civic organizations, faith-based communities and elected officials who want to promote an equal opportunity educational agenda and discuss initiatives such as the NAACP Call for Action.

Over the past three years, the NAACP Call for Action initiative has gained tremendous momentum. Forty-eight states agreed to address their state's racial disparities in education and submit an Educational Equity Partnership Plan by June 24. The plan asks states to outline their individual efforts to reduce education-related racial disparities by 50% over the next five years. NAACP state and local education chairs have annually participated in trainings to work with states to address these disparities.

Some of the program highlights include: An Education Symposium, Resegregation and the Student Right to Transfer featuring panelists, Dr. Guy Stuart, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University; and Dr. Gail Sunderman, Research Associate, Harvard Civil Rights Project. A special Town Hall Meeting: The State of the African American Male: Will Young Black Males Be Left Behind, will be moderated by Jeff Johnson from BET's "The Cousin Jeff Chronicles."

Town Hall panelists include Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL); Dr. Rosa A. Smith, President, Caroline and Sigmund Schott Foundation; Dr. James Lanier, Resident Scholar, Institute for Opportunity and Equality, National Urban League; and Judith A. Browne, Co-director, The Advancement Project.

Summit workshops consist of: Addressing Disparities in Higher Education; Managing Through the Deficits: Strategies for Addressing School Budget Cuts; Keeping the Dream Alive: Counteracting the Dropout Trend and Addressing the Disproportionate Representation of Minorities in Special Education.

Reg Weaver, President, National Education Association (NEA) will deliver remarks as will Dee Merrill, Senior Vice President Wachovia Corporation; Dr. James Pughsley, Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools; Marvin Pittman, Director of Middle Grades Education, North Carolina Dept. of Public Instruction; NAACP Interim President and CEO Dennis Courtland Hayes; NAACP Education Director John Jackson; and NAACP Board members Maxine Smith, National Education Committee Chair; and Adora Obi Nweze, Daisy Bates Education Summit Chair.

The NAACP Education Summit honors the late Daisy Bates, former president of the Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP and advisor in 1957 to the Little Rock Nine, the students who braved hostile opponents of integration to Central High School. To register for Summit activities or for additional information please log on www.naacp.org.

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

CONTACT: NAACP Office of Communications 410.580.5125

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