Education

Charter Advocates Send Letter Asking NAACP to Drop Call for Charter Ban

By Arianna Prothero — September 22, 2016 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

This story originally appeared on the Charters & Choice blog.

Cheryl Brown Henderson, the youngest daughter of the named plaintiff in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case which ended legally-sanctioned school segregation, has signed a letter calling on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people to reject a moratorium on charter schools proposed by its members.

Two charter school advocacy groups, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the Black Alliance for Educational Options, organized a group of 160 black educators, advocates, lawmakers, and religious leaders—including Henderson—to sign the letter, which was sent to the NAACP Wednesday morning. The national board of the NAACP is expected to decide on whether to approve the resolution in October.

Henderson’s father, Oliver L. Brown, was among the group of black parents in Topeka, Kansas, who became plaintiffs in the NAACP’s lawsuit that ultimately led to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning racial segregation in public schools in 1954.

Here’s the full letter:

Henderson, who founded the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, recently spoke with Education Week about the ongoing impact of the Brown decision:

Earlier this summer, members of the NAACP approved a proposal to call for a moratorium on new charter schools. The members cited concerns over discipline and segregation within charter schools, among many other issues.

Having one of the nation’s most powerful and prominent civil rights organizations say that charter schools are bad for African-American students and should not be allowed to expand has been a blow to the charter movement and exposed a rift in opinion among African- Americans on charter schools. (I wrote fairly extensively on that topic in this story here). A separate coalition of civil rights groups, including Black Lives Matter, issued a separate call to halt the spread of charter schools for many of the same reasons cited by NAACP members.

Along with the letter, the Black Alliance for Educational Options and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, are also launching a PR campaign to counter what’s been a tough stretch of publicity. Called “ChartersWork,” the effort will “focus on elevating Black voices and stakeholders from the civil rights and charter communities, dispelling myths and putting the focus of this conversation back on what works for children,” according to a joint press release put out by the two pro-charter groups. No specifics, yet, on what, exactly, that will include.

Charter school advocates have been playing some defense in recent months. After comedian John Oliver devoted his show “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” to issues of fraud in the charter sector, the Center on Education reform launched a video contest called “Hey John Oliver, Back Off My Charter School.”

The prize for the video that best highlights how charter schools have helped families, teachers and communities, will get $100,000.

Related stories:


A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP