In the News: Charter School Facts vs. Myths: What NAACP Needs to Learn

The NAACP has been conducting a series of hearings on the topic of whether charter schools are good for children of color. They are investigating this question in response to the backlash that came last year after the organization called for a moratorium on charter schools.

ednext-ototn-feb17-naacpCitizen Ed has reported on some of the hearings and has posted some videos of the presentations, noting that parents, students, and teachers have been mostly absent, and that the NAACP’s special task force, which is supposed to be weighing the evidence, seems misinformed and/or confused about what charter schools are.

Jesse L. Jackson, the superintendent of a charter district in Florida, had hoped to speak to the task force when it held a hearing in Orlando, but as he notes in an article he later published

I waited to speak for three hours before I had to leave. The task force spent nearly five hours taking testimony from pre-selected presenters who don’t work in charter schools every day like I do and, in most cases, don’t work in or attend any school at all. Speaker after speaker reinforced the myths that continue to mislead the public about schools like mine. Teachers union leaders testified and were cheered. (Unions hate that most charter schools aren’t unionized.) The “hearing” was just a show to shore up a shaky policy. I was discouraged to see that from a respected civil rights organization that has fought for inclusion.

My hope is that somewhere along the task force’s multicity tour, it’ll get to hear from charter-school leaders, teachers, parents, students and graduates.

The founder of a charter school in Los Angeles makes the case for why “NAACP Should Be Supporting, Not Fighting, Charters” in the LA School Report.

Education Next’s Paul E. Peterson analyzes public opinion on charter schools in “Why Does the NAACP Oppose Charter Schools?

— Education Next

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