WASHINGTON, D.C. – In just the first week of the Charters Work campaign, more than 5,000 parents, families, teachers, school and community leaders across all 50 states added their names to the petition insisting 2020 presidential candidates end their attacks on charter schools. All charter schools are public schools and we must support more — not less — educational opportunities for our nation’s children.
“We need more high-quality charter schools to help all families—particularly African American and Hispanic families—propel their children toward successful futures,” said senior vice president of advocacy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance), Amy Wilkins. “The 2020 presidential candidates need to listen to both parents and the nearly 220,000 charter school teachers who support educational opportunities that actually work.”
The Charters Work online petition implores 2020 presidential candidates, including Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) who has called for a moratorium on charter schools, to stop these attacks and support the growth of high-quality charter schools. This overwhelming support stems from the proven high levels of academic achievement that students are attaining in charter schools. One week ago today the National Alliance, alongside other notable community organizations such as Democrats for Education Reform, La Comadre, KIPP and others released an open letter signed by 244 leaders of color, demanding that Senator Sanders withdraw his call for a moratorium on charter schools.
Those who support making sure our children have more educational choices — not less — should add their voices to the 5,000 (and counting) parents, families, school and community leaders who’ve already taken a stand at www.charterswork.com.
“Any candidate who would call for a halt to the growth of charter schools is out of step with our communities,” said mom-in-chief and founder of Massachusetts Parents United, Keri Rodrigues. “Charter schools are supported by large margins among Hispanic and African American families. The candidates who would stall their expansion either haven’t bothered to listen to our parents or are willfully ignoring them. Either way, it’s a dangerous path to go down.”
According to Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, on average African American and Hispanic students at charter schools gain more academic days than their peers at district-operated schools annually.
African American students in urban charter schools gained 36 additional days of learning in math and 26 additional days of learning in reading per school year compared to their peers at district-operated schools.
Low income Hispanic students in urban charter schools gained 48 additional days of learning in math and 25 additional days of learning in reading per school year compared to their peers in district-operated schools.
This is why according to a recent poll, 58 percent of African American Democratic voters and 52 percent of Hispanic Democratic voters support charter schools. There are 5 million children whose families would send them to a charter school if space were available at a charter school in their community.
For more information about Charters Work and how you can be a part of this nationwide campaign, please visit www.charterswork.com.