The Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) held their 10th anniversary symposium in Milwaukee, WI from March 4th – March 6th. The symposium focused on how to provide more options for families in failing school districts. Many of the sessions focused on mobilization of parents to give tips for effective advocacy. These sessions included panelists of current and former legislators from across the country, including former Missouri State Representative, and current Democrats for Education Reform Midwest Director, Rodney Hubbard. Each of the mobilization sessions receive a visit from Virginia Walden Ford, who has led parents in a fight to save the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. Other sessions sought to improve academics, discuss the importance of black led charter schools and bridging the achievement gap.
The conference also served as a changing of the guard as Dr. Howard Fuller retired from the Board Chairmanship and Washington, D.C. reform activist Kevin Chavous moved into the Board Chair. Also, it was the first symposium for new BAEO President Kenneth Campbell. He was selected to follow Gerrard Robinson, who was appointed the Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia. One of the sessions at the conference featured both new leaders where they discussed their vision for the organization. The main topic was the expansion of BAEO, which will focus on a strategy of expanding into southern states where many African Americans are without education options. Both also made a commitment to increasing membership in the urban areas where BAEO currently has chapters.
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