WASHINGTON, D.C. — National Black Child Development Institute President Leah Austin, EdD., released this statement in response to the forced resignation of Dr. Barbara Cooper, the former Secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education.
The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI), the only national organization committed solely to the creation of an equitable, just, and joyful future for Black children, stands in support of the children of Alabama, Dr. Barbara Cooper, the work of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), its affiliate organizations and the use and production of the Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs resource guide. Dr. Cooper’s moral stance came at the cost of her position.
The decision to dismiss Dr. Cooper was made as part of a larger effort to undermine the institution of public education, not to serve the interests of children in Alabama. In a state where approximately 33 percent of students are Black, access to high-quality public education that promotes equality, dignity, and worth is a cornerstone of our democracy and a fundamental right that benefits all.
The willful political posturing to suggest otherwise is both dangerous and illusory.