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The NEA-ATA Joint Committee

More women followed Ella Flagg Young in the NEA presidency. At the urgings of NEA presidents Mary McSkimmon and Cornelia Adair, a line of communication was opened between the National Education Association and the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools. In 1925, President McSkimmon created the NEA Committee on Problems in Negro Education and Life—for the first time, an official way for the NATCS and the NEA to work cooperatively.

In 1926, a Joint Committee was formed to study accreditation problems of southern Black high schools and the quality of Black education. Two years later, the Joint Committee became permanent and was renamed the "Committee to Cooperate with the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools."

The Committee's accomplishments were many. It advocated for equal school funding, collected data on the status of Black education, and promoted fair treatment of Blacks in textbooks while pressuring publishers to do so. The Committee also encouraged NEA to include Black speakers at its Representative Assemblies and recommended that NEA meetings only be held in cities where all delegates would be treated with respect.

In 1937, the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools changed its name to the American Teachers Association (ATA) and continued to focus on the educational challenges of Black students and educators. It also expanded its unofficial mandate.