Pushback Against the NAACP's Anti-Charter School Stance Is Misguided and Self-Serving
In calling for a moratorium on all charter schools, the NAACP has declared, after years of discussion, that they’re concerned enough about local governance, millionaire charter school board members, and public fund-spending to take a stand. While there are a plethora of arguments to be made, for me, it all comes down to following the money.
Full disclosure: I began working for the public school systems in 1994, having graduated from a public high school in Illinois. Prior to that, I spent the first five years of my teaching career at a Catholic private school in Hyde Park, Ill. Of the children in my family, I am the only one who’s taught or been an administrator of a public school. Both my sisters work in the charter school sector.
Some charter schools do the good, hard work of giving our black children possibilities they didn’t get in the public school systems. With that said, my opposition to and criticism of charter schools comes at the hand of my own experience, coupled with the research showing that charter schools exploit some black and brown communities.
Let’s be clear: Public school systems are problematic, as well. Institutional racism and punitive punishments are the reasons why, just two weeks ago, I finally quit my job. After a decade of watching the continued marginalization of our black students, I decided there must be another way to effect change outside the system since the whiteness of it enjoys the privilege of protecting itself.
For-profit education has been on the rise in the United States for some time, despite being shrouded in conversations about public school, union-busting and promoting the “failing schools” narrative—or maybe because of those things. Public schools use public funds; therefore, they are held to a higher standard from which many charters are immune. Still, it’s the money that flows into charters that gives many people pause. Those who hold the purse strings are too often those for whom some “white savior” complex is paramount in their charity.
Among the things the NAACP is concerned about are the severe segregation of student populations Pushback Against the NAACP's Anti-Charter School Stance Is Misguided and Self-Serving: