NAACP Propose Solutions in Closing the Achievement Gap during 6th Biennial Daisy Bates Education SummitJune 05, 2005
State partners go beyond the rhetoric of activism to augment strategic plans
Behind the backdrop of the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's infamous"?with all deliberate speed" ruling in Brown v. Board II, the NAACP Education Department and its Brown v. Board Education Equity Commission strengthened their advocacy agenda while assessing the federal government's progress in ensuring all students access to a high quality education during their Daisy Bates Education Summit in Charlotte, N.C in May.
The biennial summit is named in honor of the NAACP's former Arkansas State Conference President and Youth advisor who in 1957 fought to desegregate Little Rock's Central High School, forcing President Dwight Eisenhower to federalize the Arkansas National Guard to protect nine Black students' efforts to desegregate the school. The summit is held to assess and evaluate progress made to ensure access to a high quality education for all students.
NAACP National Education Director John Jackson said: "Even though the federal government is falling far short of its moral obligation to ensure equity in education, we recognize that everyone has the responsibility to educate our nation's children and assist them in achieving at the highest levels from kindergarten to college. The work of the commission is an effort to pool our individual and collective resources to make a measurable impact."
The Brown Commission formed by the NAACP in 2003, in preparation for the 50th Anniversary of the Brown v. Board decision, is comprised of over 50 national non-profit organizations, NAACP State Education Chairs, corporate partners, and representatives from several state departments of education. The Commission is charged with completing the work of Brown by collaboratively addressing three major areas: (1) Resource Equity, (2) Teacher Quality and (3) Testing Disparities. During the summit, the Commission agreed to address local resource equity issues by undertaking a study to evaluate alternatives to local property-based school funding formulas which have historically created resource inequities. The Commission also agreed to impact teacher quality by developing and launching a campaign to reform the teacher preparation and in-service training process. Under testing disparities, the Commission agreed to evaluate and ensure that curriculums are adequately aligned with the state's assessment test in all areas.
"The NAACP will continue to lead the fight for our nation's children to receive an adequate education and we thank all of our partners who understand the urgency in saving our children," says Jackson.
Aside from the work of the commission, the two day summit featured Ernest G. Green of the Little Rock Nine; Dr. Brenda Mitchell, President, United Teacher Union; Rachel Mazyck, 2005 Rhode Scholar; Dr. Henry Johnson Mississippi State Education Superintendent, Dr. Inez Tennebaum, South Carolina State Education Superintendent and Dr. John Jackson, NAACP National Education Director.
Summit workshops were the platform for developing solid solutions to the global challenges of education disparities found around the country. Workshop participants discussed managing school budget cuts with suggestions to increase elementary and secondary education funding in the federal budget and counteracting the dropout trend by studying ways to improve school performance and teacher quality.
The Summit maintained its tradition of presenting the Daisy Bates Advocacy awards to companies and organizations that excel in their efforts in educational program development, capacity building and collaboration.
Advocacy award winners were, NASA Headquarters, Minority Research Education Programs; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Florida Memorial University; Christian Memorial Episcopal (CME) Church; Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.; National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; Dr. Robert Moses, The Algebra Project; and Wachovia Corporation.
This year, the advocacy award for the public school district advancing educational excellence was given to the Toledo Ohio Public School System. The school administration has demonstrated significant improvements in closing the achievement gap by implementing a model for educators to use data-based decisions to improve student achievement.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP 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, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.
CONTACT: NAACP Office of Communications 410.580.5125