ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 16, 2014) — National PTA President Otha Thornton issued the following statement in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision:
“May 17, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, which declared 'separate but equal' education unconstitutional. The anniversary is an important time to reflect on education today and redouble our nation’s efforts to ensure equality for all students across the country. While progress has been achieved in the years following the ruling, inequalities continue to exist in American schools. It is critical that parents, teachers, administrators, elected officials, and business and community leaders work together to make meaningful changes to ensure that all children have access to a high quality education and that every child has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.
“The Common Core State Standards are an essential step to raise the bar in all schools and will go far in helping every student receive a high quality education that prepares him or her for success upon graduation from high school. The Common Core State Standards increase rigor in every school and provide consistency across the country, no matter a student’s zip code or socioeconomic status. With the standards, we have a tremendous opportunity to ensure that a high school senior in Alabama receives the same quality education as a senior in Colorado and that both students graduate prepared for college or the workforce and are able to compete in the global economy.
“At the federal level and in states across the country, legislation is being considered that would divert funds currently spent on public K-12 education to private or sectarian schools. These bills could deprive students of rights and protections they are awarded in public schools. These desperately-needed resources should continue to be invested in public schools that serve all students regardless of economic status, gender, religion, prior academic achievement, disability or behavioral history. Using public funds to make public schools stronger is another important step to better serve all children.
“As the first African-American male president of America’s oldest and largest child advocacy association, I have continued National PTA’s legacy of speaking up to ensure that all students are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities that support their success. In addition to supporting the Common Core State Standards and investments in public education, National PTA launched a campaign in the fall of 2013, titled Every Child in Focus, to celebrate the achievements and report the disparities within diverse populations. As the demographics of our nation’s schools continue to shift, each month National PTA spotlights the educational challenges surrounding a particular group and provides resources and advocacy tools to help school communities embrace diversity and inclusion as well as understand and address the unique needs of every child. National PTA also works with our country’s leaders to help tackle issues facing each highlighted group.
“Education is the civil rights issue of our time. With the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, National PTA remains deeply committed to take action to ensure that every student receives a world class education that enables him or her to reach his or her full potential.”
For more information about National PTA’s Every Child in Focus campaign or to access resources to support the implementation of the Common Core, visit PTA.org.
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.