NAACP speaks out against board's plan for neighborhood schools

Posted January 18, 2010
Updated January 20, 2010

Wake County Public School System

— Neighborhood schools in Wake County could create "pockets of poverty" and move the school system into a policy of segregation because of their socio-economic status, the state's NAACP chapter president said Monday.

"What we know from history and from the fact that even under the guise of neighborhood schools, which is nothing more than another name for re-segregation," the Rev. William Barber said. "Re-segregation is the enemy of school excellence."

MLK Interfaith Breakfast 2010_02 Web only: N.C. NAACP on neighborhood schools

Speaking at an interfaith breakfast in Durham celebrating the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Barber told the crowd that research shows schools with large majorities of poor children fail because they are underfunded, have a high teacher turnover and low student performance.

The Wake County Board of Education's new majority is in favor of neighborhood schools and ending the school system's decade-old diversity policy, in which students are bussed to schools across districts to help achieve socio-economic diversity among student populations.

The board says the proposed move away from bussing for diversity and its recent decision to end mandatory year-round school assignments is about giving parents choices.

School board member John Tedesco, who's in favor of neighborhood schools, argues that the current diversity policy hasn't addressed minority achievement gaps and lagging graduation rates. He thinks a shift will help.

"We're not going to be a segregated school system," he said.

Gov. Beverly Perdue, also in attendance at Monday's prayer breakfast, also raised concern about re-segregation, saying, 'We will not allow ourselves to go backwards."

"I'm not going to get in a local school issue, but the fact of the matter is that every child in this state, regardless of their ZIP code, must have access to a free high-quality education," she said.

Barber agrees.

"Schools segregated by socioeconomic status inevitably undermine our goal of high-quality experienced teachers for all students. Schools where poverty is concentrated breeds teacher burnout," he said.

"It's hard work, and research shows that experienced teachers eventually transfer to easier spots. Schools for poor children become places where teachers start but they do not stay," he continued.


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  • chevybelair57sd Jan 22, 2010

    300 years of freedom dictates putting your hands to work not palm up this country needs to help get people working not demanding. If you want diversity, go to work and move to a diversified neighborhood. don't demand a high tax school without contributing to it.

  • circlecity Jan 21, 2010

    If you want children to go to a certain school move to that school district. Move out of the project

  • BraveHeart Jan 21, 2010

    laursadad- you hit it right on target....I could not agree more

  • xandevalinour Jan 20, 2010

    it surprises me how many people still think money is the main problem with our current educational problems.

    all of you are DEAD WRONG

    money may be a part, but it is only a small part

    the biggest issue is parents think its the schools responsibility to teach kids everything, schools are responsible for only your book smarts, not your morals, family values, not knowing whats right from wrong...and thats exactly what is wrong

    why should teachers stay at a school were 90% of the students have no respect for anyone let alone themselves

    parents just send kids off to school and stop paying attention from that point on

    next time you get come home from hard day of work, instead of sitting back cracking open a beer and watching the idiot tube, pay attention to your kid(s)

    you might be surprised what you find/learn about them

    Money doesnt teach kids respect and right from wrong, parents do

  • bredford02 Jan 20, 2010

    Hammerhead, I didn't say I agreed with the whole statement. The part about suburban children was way off. I just didn't agree with any of your statement.

  • BubbaDuke Jan 20, 2010

    Wildcat - The reason that American students perform less well academically than students in other countries is not because our kids lack opportunities to learn; it's because our parents put the responsibility for educating our kids on the teachers instead of on the parents. Who has a better stake in their child succeeding in life if not the parent?

    What our kids get in school is not an education; it's propaganda. That's why America is dumbing down. It's no wonder that kids who are home-schooled do better academically than those in public school. Certainly that education must be accompanied by moral upbringing at home.

  • BubbaDuke Jan 20, 2010

    Barber is a liar. What we know from history is that equal opportunity does not equate to equal performance. If Barber is right, then whites would be better basketball players than blacks. Is anyone surprised when Asian students take home the science awards at school? In "Rev" Barber's world, anything and everything is racial discrimination. People who have poor self-worth are quick to jump on radical bandwagons, even when that bandwagon left the station long ago. The problem with the NAACP and people like Barber is that they perpetuate racial tensions out of their own inferiority by denying that people are different. Studies have shown that males mature slower than females, this means that females do better academically because they are more responsible than males. Study after study has proven that blacks perform less well than other races in academics, but the problem is not racism, it's because black parents accept a "C" where whites and Asians demand an "A" from their kids.

  • arfamr1006 Jan 19, 2010

    STOP- Even if the lower income kids (ie section 8 housing)are suppose to go to these schools without busing you would still be whining. We all agree parenting needs to start in the home. Children learn a lot of things from their parents exspecially how to treat others even those that might be less fortunate than themselves.
    uropinionmatters dont have a chip on your shoulder, you have the whole boulder. its people like you that contribute to negative are clearly racist, hate all white people, and trully believe that they owe you something for one reason or another. unbelievable...never actually met anyone like that till now

  • NCTeacher Jan 19, 2010

    pald- Actually, Barber and his family live in Goldsboro. And he is suing the school system his children attend- Wayne County. And Wayne County has an open enrollment policy- you can enroll your child in any school you want to as long as they have space and you provide transportation.

  • uropinionmatters Jan 19, 2010

    For most of you this is not about Barbour, the NAACP or busing issues most of you don't want your children in school with kids from lower income neighborhoods. Why do a lot of you keep relating disruptive behavior and dysfunction to lower income families like children from affluent neighborhoods do not disrupt the classroom. STOP- Even if the lower income kids (ie section 8 housing)are suppose to go to these schools without busing you would still be whining. We all agree parenting needs to start in the home. Children learn a lot of things from their parents exspecially how to treat others even those that might be less fortunate than themselves.