Call to Action in Education

In January 2004, the Treasure Valley Branch officially announced the National NAACP Call for Action in Education Five-Year Strategic Plan.

The main goal of the NAACP Call for Action Education Plan is to ensure resource equity in education for minority students. Some of the identified areas of focus for the Call for Action Education Plan include:

  • INCREASING RESOURCE EQUITY
  • IMPROVING TEACHER QUALITY
  • INCREASING ACCESS TO EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS
  • INCREASING ACCESS TO A COLLEGE-BOUND CURRICULUM
  • CREATING SMALLER CLASS SIZES
  • CLOSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
  • HIGH-STAKES TESTING
  • REDUCING THE DROPOUT RATE
  • INCREASING PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
  • ADDRESSING SPECIAL EDUCATION AND THE OVERREPRESENTATION AND UNDERSERVICING OF MINORITY CHILDREN
  • ELIMINATING RACIAL DISPARITIES IN THE SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION OF STUDENTS
  • ADDRESSING RESEGREGATION TRENDS

To achieve this goal, the Plan calls for State, Federal and local educational communities to develop and submit a Five-Year Educational Equity Partnership Plan for closing the racial disparities in education.

• The Five-Year Plan includes an agreed upon method for measuring achievement. This method builds on the state’s assessment system required under federal law, and includes additional measures along dimensions reflected in this Call for Action. For example, the plan includes measures related to graduation rates, retention rates, etc. Source: OCR 1997 Elementary and Secondary School Compliance Report: Projected Values for the Nation (1999).

• The Five-Year Plan includes both a comprehensive system for measuring progress in closing the gap, and specific forms of corrective action that the State Board of Education will undertake in a timely way to achieve the plan’s goals.

• The requested Five-Year Plan should identifies the resources that our State Board of Educational plans to dedicate to this initiative and outlines the support needed to fully implement the plan.

The facts are clear: the persistent failure of schools to provide equality of opportunity for all students is having a devastating impact on communities of color and the future of our nation. The adverse impact of these inequities is long-term and is reflected in racial disparities not only in education but in future employment, poverty, and incarceration rates. These gross disparities in educational quality and achievement demonstrate the need for federal, state, and local educational agencies to partner with community agents. Together, these partners must develop and implement strategies to remove racial disparities and improve the quality of education in the district, state, and country.

Conclusion
This Call for Action seeks to guarantee that all students are provided an equal opportunity for a world-class education. Ultimately, however, we must measure success not by the inputs and efforts, but by the achievement of our students. Parents, taxpayers, educators, and elected officials must judge all of the efforts described in this document—and in the many policy pronouncements of legislatures and regulation writers, by whether we succeed in closing the gaps in achievement, which separate the races and, inevitably, our society. The NAACP recognizes that there are easy explanations for the circumstances of minority children, some say, found in their poverty, their families, their community, their culture or even their genes. These accounts stretch from mere intuitions, to rigorous social science, to rank racism. To confront this crisis successfully, we must insist on actions that lead towards progress and equity.

In several areas, we have called upon education agencies to formulate detailed Five-Year Plans that will include a strategy for accomplishing a set of goals and measurable benchmarks so that they and the community will know whether the plan is being implemented. All of this is a means to an end. These various plans and strategies must be integrated into an ambitious vision. That vision goes beyond ensuring the formal equality of opportunity that demands, for example, textbooks, able teachers and early childhood enrichment. Our vision is for excellence in education, so all children will in fact develop their God-given potential.