NAACP stops in Memphis for national charter school task force tour

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- An NAACP education task force made its second of seven stops in Memphis Tuesday night.

The "excellence in education hearing" featured a 12-person task force studying the impact of charter schools.

The civil rights organization has already made a resolution for a moratorium on charter schools.

Task force members said they support high-achieving charter schools but worry about a lack of regulation over under-performing charter schools.

"There is a private sector movement in America to do away with public education. They have used the charter schools to help break down the public schools across this country. We see [neighborhood] schools closing and charter schools opening but they're not necessarily taking children from those neighborhoods," education task force chair Alice Huffman said.

Leaders said they chose Memphis since Tennessee has long-standing legislation regulating charter schools that is more advanced than other states.

They also said Memphis has low-performing schools and high poverty rates.

"Some charter schools are causing the re-segregation of our schools, which is what we fought for so many years is to desegregate the schools. So I think in the mix of all of it, we have one agenda here in the country to find out what we should be doing during these perilous times to protect and further the education of African American children," Huffman said.

The task force already visited Connecticut and still planned to visit New Orleans, Florida, Detroit, New York and California.

Members said by the end of the hearings, they hoped to compile a list of recommendations to lobby lawmakers.