Press Release

NAACP Task Force to Hold Hearing on Education Quality

December 2, 2016

Discussion Includes Public and Charter School Advocates


NEW HAVEN, CT – A new NAACP task force to study education quality will be taking input from advocates, teachers, parents, and policy experts this Saturday in New Haven, CT.

The  National Task Force for Quality Education will host the first of several public hearings about issues involving public education and charter school oversight on Saturday December 3 in New Haven, CT. from 2 to 6 p.m.

The event will draw individuals from the Tri-state area and throughout New England. It is the first public session for the task force of National NAACP officials charged with studying and recommending education policy. The groups will focus primarily on issues surrounding inadequate school funding, charter school accountability and its impact on school funding for under-funded districts.

Key participants include:

  • James Comer, Yale University
  • Steve Perry, Capital Preparatory Magnet School
  • Edward Joyner, New Haven Board of Education
  • Jeremiah Grace, Director, North East Charter School Network
  • Gary Highsmith, HR Director, Hamden Board of Education
  • Tenicka Boyd of Students First NY

“This will be the first of several hearings around the nation taking a deep look at the issues facing public schools, as well as the pros and cons of charter schools,” said Alice Huffman, chairman of the task force and president of the California NAACP State Conference.  “By bringing people from our community together from both sides, we can bridge the gap in the issue of accountability between public schools and charters.”

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

“For the NAACP, particularly here in Connecticut, this is an issue about school quality and funding” said Scott Esdaile, president of the Connecticut NAACP State Conference and task force member. “We’ve got to ensure that our already underfunded districts are not disparately impacted by the growth of charters and that our much-needed funding isn’t diverted to profit-driven groups with little oversight and unaccountable to our communities.”

Task force members have invited several policy experts to present to the group at Saturday’s meeting at the Omni Hotel in New Haven. Members of the public can sign up to speak beginning at 1 p.m.

Visitors seeking to speak are asked to register one hour before the session begins. To accommodate the public, individual speakers may be asked to adhere to a time limit or 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.