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Reaffirming Commitment to Quality Education, Proactive Advocacy and Equitable Public School Funding

WHEREAS, the NAACP recognizes that resource inequities continue to plague public education resulting in disparities along race and class lines in such areas as limited instructional supports, poor school facilities, poor quality and quantity of textbooks and curricular materials, and limited access to challenging and rigorous classes; and

WHEREAS, teacher quality remains a key factor in ensuring academic success for all students and that most high-poverty and high-minority school districts have the least experienced teachers; and

WHEREAS, early childhood preparation directly impacts a child's future educational achievement, literacy, and emotional development; and

WHEREAS, reducing class sizes results in educational gains for disadvantaged students; and

WHEREAS, limited access to technology has perpetuated disparities in race and class and those disparities have far-reaching effects on the ability of minority students to participate meaningfully in a rapidly changing and technologically advanced national and international economy; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP understands that the reliance on high-stakes testing as the primary determinant of student academic ability is pedagogically questionable and ultimately harmful to the full academic development of students; and

WHEREAS, high school dropout rates for minority students remains alarmingly high while graduation rates remain low; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP believes that parental involvement is a critical factor in a child's academic success; and

WHEREAS, special education far too often results in inappropriate labeling and overly restrictive placement of minority students; and

WHEREAS, suspension and expulsion rates in American public schools have been shown to disproportionately affect students of color, which raises questions and concerns about the fairness and the impact of these actions taken against minority students; and

WHEREAS, persistent patterns of concentrated poverty results in re-segregation trends in public education; and

WHEREAS, students who are English Language Learners continue to grow dramatically in number, and inadequate programs in schools designed to help these students become English language proficient, ultimately hurt their overall academic success; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP recognizes the continuing need to increase public awareness about persistent disparities in public education combined with innovative and aggressive advocacy strategies; now

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the NAACP strongly reaffirms its commitment to the 2001 "Call for Action in Education;" and

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP reiterates its previous call for constructive corrections to the federal "No Child Left Behind" law to include, eliminating the over-emphasis on standardized testing, broadening curriculum and instruction to focus on rich academic learning as opposed to test preparation; adequately funding the mandates of the law, eliminating loopholes which allow for the exclusion of low-scoring students in order to boost reported testing results, and holding states and localities accountable for making the systemic changes that improve student achievement; and

THEREFORE, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP directs all of its state conferences and local units within the next twelve months, to build parent involvement and partnerships with local community based organizations, fraternal entities, churches, neighborhood associations, and other local groups, for the purpose of effecting the principles of the "Call for Action in Education" within local schools.

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