Our response to Elizabeth Warren's Attack on Charter Schools

Over the past year, a number of the leading Democratic candidates for President have fully embraced an anti-charter stance, despite the fact that recent polls continue to show that Black primary Democratic voters overwhelmingly support charter schools, at 89% of those polled. It is clear some of the Democratic Presidential candidates are out of touch with the needs of Black and Brown families through their proposed education plans. 

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren, along with other current candidates, are deliberately and blatantly working to sabotage academic freedom for our children and families who need choice the most. Warren recently released her education plan calling for the ban and defunding of charter schools, particularly expansion of those schools. We believe these counters her goal to ensure that “all students, especially underrepresented students, have access to a quality education.” 

 

According to the dismal results released today from National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), only 15% of Black 8thgrade students and 18% of Black 4thgrade students in this country are proficient in reading. For Hispanic students, the numbers are only slightly better with 23% of 4thgraders and 22% of 8thgraders are proficient. In math, it’s 20% Black 4thgraders and 28% Hispanic, and 14% and 20% respectively for 8thgraders.

 

This data shows us that most of our children cannot read or compute on grade level. Not only is this horrendous, but it is offensive and hypocritical for anyone – particularly Presidential candidates who may have sent their children to private schools - to deny choices like public charter schools for those families who need them most. 

 

As Black and Brown people, we see the attacks on public charter schools as an attack on our right to choose the best educational environment for our children. History shows that when the systems that have been set up to educate our children fail, we find other means to do so. For the past 25 years, public charter schools have served as viable options for families that need access to public education options that serve them best. 

As a former traditional public school teacher, Elizabeth Warren should know firsthand the atrocities our children face in schools every day. Black and Brown parents want, value, and successfully use charter schools to secure a high-quality education for their children. Any effort to end or limit the right to create public charter schools or stunt in any way is an assault on our self-determination.

 

Signed,

Black and Brown-led Charter Coalition