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The Region V Chapter of the Georgia NAACP has announced some of their initiatives for 2017 and topping the list is calls to action for education reforms.

In a newsletter sent out to kick off the new year, the group called for activists to ‘Survey their schools.’

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“Request that the local School District provide you with the graduation rate data for your local high schools. Step one is to make sure its disaggregated. Then take a look at the graduation rates of all student populations. If there are glaring disparities, you could begin by finding out why. If not, before you look away – compare the graduation rate data year by year for at least the last 4 or 5 years, looking specifically to see if there are any unexplained sudden leaps in reported outcomes (64.3% one year that jumps to 80.5% the following year). When you see those sudden leaps, chances are the district didn’t suddenly discover some new effective teaching method – they more than likely just changed the formula they used to determine the graduation rate and found some way to exclude some sub-group of under-performing kids. If you see that – go back and recalculate the graduation rate using the most inclusive formula and hold their feet to the fire.”

Additionally, the group calls for activists to push schools with resource officers to punish children in schools instead of through the legal system:

“Fight for changes in that policy that ensure that IF Police Officers are to work in the schools, that they have policies that have been developed specifically FOR CHILDREN AND SCHOOLS and that they are not using adult statutes in your kid’s middle school. If two 13 year old kids get in a fight, send them to the office – call their parents – maybe even suspend them if its warranted – but it should not automatically result in formal assault and/or battery charges and a criminal record,” the newsletter reads.

Among the other initiatives are economic development policies such as a Community Reinvestment Act, Service Delivery, and Minority Contracting; environmental racism, and “food deserts” which deal with the problem of how far some people have to travel to get groceries and food.

The entire newsletter is available online here.

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Jessica Szilagyi is statewide contributor for All On Georgia and Market Manager for Southeast Georgia. Her main focus with All On Georgia is state and local politics as well as agriculture. She’s served as a policy analyst at the State Capitol and as a campaign manager in political races across the state.

She writes for GeorgiaPol.com and has two blogs of her own: ‘The Perspicacious Conservative’, a political blog, and ‘Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers’, a blog on moving from Atlanta to rural Georgia. Jessica is also a contributor for Fox5 Atlanta’s ‘Like it Or Not.’

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