Civil Rights Groups Call for New U.S. Education Agenda

7.27.10 – Seven leading civil rights groups are urging U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to dismantle core pieces of his education plan, including Race to the Top.

Seven leading civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the National Urban League, called on U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today to dismantle core pieces of his education agenda, arguing that his emphases on expanding charter schools, closing low-performing schools, and using competitive rather than formula funding are detrimental to low-income and minority children.

The groups, which today released their own education policy framework and launched the National Opportunity to Learn campaign to advance their ideas, want Mr. Duncan to make big changes to his draft proposal for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

“While there are numerous positive aspects of the administration’s education agenda, more-comprehensive reforms are necessary to build a future where equitable educational opportunity is the rule, not the exception,” the framework says.

In addition to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the supporting groups are: the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; the National Urban League; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the National Council on Educating Black Children; the Rainbow PUSH Coalition; and the Schott Foundation for Public Education.

For its part, the Education Department says it’s listening.

“The administration is dedicated to equity in education, and we’ve been working very closely with the civil rights community to develop the most effective policies to close the achievement gap, turn around low-performing schools, and put a good teacher in every classroom,” spokesman Justin Hamilton said in a statement. “The civil rights community has thoughtfully helped guide our thinking on these critical issues, and we need their continued leadership as we move forward to overhaul NCLB.”

Mr. Hamilton was referring to the No Child Left Behind Act, the current version of the ESEA.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/07/26/37rights.h29.html?tkn=QUWFIsSbYTTyL/138AhuCHoHDv8UFeQCtbna&cmp=clp-edweek

Comments


  1. Rex White

    Sometimes any decision is better than no decision. I spent my life watching the decline of public education because of the fundamental flaws of missing key checks and balance…I suspect these civil rights "institutions" are sufferring from the same diseases.

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