NAACP Looks at Education in Detroit

National Taskforce weighs the impact of charter schools and policy on African American children

Sascha Raiyn

The NAACP’s Education Taskforce stopped in Detroit this week as a part of the organization’s national discussion on the education of African American children.

The group heard from the interim superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District, the president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, a charter school founder and several others.

Renaissance High School student Amari Harris spoke as a member of the 482Forward Youth Organizing Collective. He told the taskforce population loss and the proliferation of charter schools have affected Detroit schools.

“Because of this DPS lost a lot of its students and a lot of its resources,” Harris said. “And this led to what I like to call a kind of Monopoly game where it’s just DPS versus charters, and it’s just students caught in the middle.”

Taskforce member Robin Williams says the discussion in Detroit was different from what the group heard at meetings held in other cities around the country.

“Among all the meetings I have attended, you all have clearly tied the voting rights, the water crisis and the right to work piece to the crisis we are having in our public education,” Williams said.

The NAACP called for a moratorium on charter schools in the fall.

Detroit is the fifth of 7 communities the taskforce plans to visit.


  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.