NAACP Calls for School Change

April Bethea, Charlotte Observer, April 1, 2006

A Wake County Superior Court judge has decried the low performance of some high schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and across the state, calling it “academic genocide.”

On Friday, a different description was offered by leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The performance of schools “amounts to legalized child abuse,” said the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, at a news conference. “And it must be changed because every child in our school systems is important.”

Barber said a March letter from Judge Howard Manning shows that the state must offer better funding and more qualified teachers and principals, a sentiment echoed by national NAACP President Bruce Gordon. Gordon said providing enough resources for schools across the nation is important.

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Chapter President Kenneth White cited statistics Friday showing that while 72 percent of local white students attend high-performing schools, the figure drops to 25 percent for minority students.

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