The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Education Department is requesting states to submit Educational Equity Partnership Plans that outline the states' efforts to reduce education-related racial disparities by 50% over the next five years (2005-2009). Each state is asked to submit its plan by June 24, 2005.
Dr. John Jackson, NAACP National Director of Education, said, "The NAACP Call for Action initiative is an effort to partner with states to reduce the racial disparities in education and assist states in meeting the benchmark in the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The federal government has to play more of an active role assisting states in resources and policy to address these disparities. However, until the federal government decides to do what is right, the NAACP has a moral obligation to fight to ensure that all students have access to a high quality education."
Over the past three years, the Call for Action initiative has gained tremendous momentum. Between 2001 and 2004, forty-eight states agreed to participate in the process of addressing their state's racial disparities in education. Only two states, Nevada and Colorado, chose not to respond to the request to partner with the NAACP in this effort. NAACP state and local education chairs have annually participated in trainings to work with states to address these disparities. Participating organizations include: the Education Trust, National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Harvard Civil Rights Project.
To assist the states in reaching their goals, the NAACP formed the Brown v. Board Equity Commission comprised of representatives from over 50 national non-profit organizations and 12 state departments of education. The Brown Commission agreed to use the Call for Action initiative as the advocacy tool to work collectively to eliminate disparities in three areas: resource equity, testing, and teacher quality.
Each state will use the web-based NAACP Educational Equity Partnership Plan Database to address disparities identified in the Call for Action plan by establishing quantifiable indicators and milestones designed to reduce racial disparities.
Additionally, NAACP State Conference Presidents and Education Chairs plan to schedule meetings with their governors to discuss the development, submission, and implementation of their state's plan over the next five years.
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