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Low-Performing Schools

WHEREAS, in the 1954 landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, the NAACP, through its attorneys — including Thurgood Marshall — played a pivotal role in persuading the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm the goal of equality of educational opportunity for all children. More than fifty years after the Brown decision, the Association recognizes that severe racial inequities still persist in many of our nation's schools; and 

WHEREAS, low-performing schools across the country are frequently located in urban areas where most black children attend school; and 

WHEREAS, affluent communities with a higher tax base are generally able to provide more funding for schools than poor communities; and 

WHEREAS, there is considerable variation among local school districts with special needs, English as a Second Language (ESL) and overage students in the United States with respect to the demographic composition of the students and communities they serve, the policies are not consistent in all states; and 

WHEREAS, the states hold local school districts accountable for the academic performance of students, but they do relatively little to ensure that schools meet the conditions necessary to provide adequate educational opportunities for all students; and 

WHEREAS, although numerous studies have shown that poverty and racial isolation contribute significantly to school failure, states do very little to mitigate the effects of these external conditions. Instead, responsibility for monitoring educational quality is delegated to educational leaders in school districts and elected school boards and/or appointed school boards in keeping with the long-standing practice of allowing local communities to manage and operate public schools. 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms previous resolutions designed to ensure resource equity, teacher quality and the eradication of illiteracy; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP identify problems and find solutions to help all our students, in conjunction with state and state conferences and local units, in addition to identifying low performing schools and to develop local advocacy and legal strategies to improve our schools and to bring systemic lawsuits designed to provide quality public education to our children; and 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that these advocacy and legal strategies shall be designed to ultimately ensure that the nation properly invests in the education of all public school students.