28 July 2010
Contact: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President, 919-394-8137
Mrs. Amina J. Turner, Exec Dir, 919-682-4700
Mr. Al McSurely, Esq., Communications Chair, 919-389-2905
OPENING STATEMENT FOR FORUM WITH "CONTROLLED CHOICE" SCHOOL EXPERT MICHAEL ALVES
By Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President. NC NAACP
For more than 101 years, the NAACP has been committed to the diversity of ideas. We believe our society is stronger when we see diversity as a strength, not a weakness; not something to oppose, but something to be embraced.
The NAACP’s objectives have been and remain: high-quality, diverse, constitutional schools for all our children; smaller classes; better-trained, better-supported teachers; equitable funding for all schools; a renewed emphasis on math, science, reading and history; greater parental involvement; and a rejuvenated commitment to closing gaps in suspensions, graduation rates, and student achievement. The NAACP is pleased to talk with anyone about how we might move toward these objectives.
Thus we welcome Mr. Michael Alves here today, and we have come to listen. As we listen, the questions we have can be summarized as:
1. How might "controlled choice" improve Wake County Schools in light of the fact that it already operate with a under a socio-economic diversity and student achievement plan that has received national acclaim and positive review by educational experts?
2. What will a "controlled choice" plan do to achieve high-quality, constitutional, diverse education for all children?
3. Where has "controlled choice" been more successful than Wake County’s renowned socio-economic diversity plan?
4. Are there any examples of how “controlled choice” has worked to achieve the aforementioned goals particularly in the South?
5. Would it have been possible to implement some of the strengths of “controlled choice” without dismantling the commitments of the socio-economic diversity program that Wake County progressive Educational leaders have operated with proven, data-based success for many years?