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26 January 2012

The NAACP Places Race Ahead of Student Achievement in Fayette County

Not the since the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s has the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) done anything of significance to advance colored people in this country. These days, the NAACP seems more focused on picking all the wrong battles for all the wrong reasons. The latest example of this comes from Fayette County, Georgia.

Instead of focusing on the fact that black students, white students, hispanic students, all students are getting a good, quality education in Fayette County, the NAACP placed race ahead of student achievement. The NAACP believes a high number of colored people in elected office is more important than more colored people with a solid education ready to enter the workforce.


Fayette County's school system is one of the best run in the state.

For the past seven years, every Fayette County school met AYP. For the past five years, Fayette County SAT scores exceeded both the state and national average. Earlier this month, Atlanta Magazine listed all five of Fayette County's high schools among the fifty best in metro Atlanta. The accomplishments, achievements, and accolades listed here did not happen by accident. Good governance from the Fayette County School Board, good leadership from the Fayette County Schools superintendent, and good teachers from kindergarten through grade twelve all contributed to Fayette County's excellence in education.

But, for the NAACP, educational excellence and achievement from all of Fayette County's students was not enough. The NAACP, in its infinite wisdom, decided to fix what wasn't broken.

The NAACP sued the Fayette County Board of Education because, according to the NAACP, there were no blacks on the school board.

Ryan Haygood, director of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund's Political Participation Group and the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, said the group has been analyzing the latest Census data and how that growth coincides with what they consider to be potential voting schemes. He said the Voting Rights Act is the best vehicle for addressing the issue.

"Fayette County's at-large election method is a structural wall of exclusion that guarantees that black voters, in spite of having tried in election after election, cannot elect their candidates of choice," Haygood said. "There's no benefit to any system that weakens the voting strength of a jurisdiction's voting rights. That catches our attention."

Haines, Errin (2011-8-10). NAACP suit: Fayette County disenfranchising blacks. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2012-1-26.



The NAACP picked the wrong battle, and they fought it for all the wrong reasons. Instead of focusing on the fact that black students, white students, hispanic students, all students are getting a good, quality education in Fayette County, the NAACP placed race ahead of student achievement. The NAACP believes a high number of colored people in elected office is more important than more colored people with a solid education ready to enter the workforce.

The NAACP won its lawsuit. They won due to the Fayette County School Board not even putting up a fight.

The capitulation of the Fayette County School Board has legislators such as state Representative Matt Ramsey (R - Peachtree City) seeing red.

Ramsey thinks the BoE should have “vigorously defended” the suit instead.

“Some fights are worth fighting and to unconditionally surrender and say there wasn’t money to defend the suit will only embolden groups with extreme political agendas to seek to impose their will via the courts when they know they cannot succeed at the ballot box,” Ramsey said.

Munford, John (2012-1-18). Fayette legislators decry BoE’s district voting change. Fayette County Citizen. Retrieved on 2012-1-26.



The extreme activism of the NAACP now means that there will be one majority black school board district in Fayette County. It is likely black voters in this newly created majority black district will elect a black person to the school board seat.

And thus begins the shift from student achievement to racial polarization in Fayette County.