Chartering – a 30-year-old strategy that welcomes and encourages new ideas to make public education work better for our kids and our communities – is also one of the most prolific grassroots revolutions to create true educational opportunities for all.
While it may not always feel like it, chartering started and remains deeply rooted in bipartisan support and enjoys broad support from parents and voters of all parties. In fact, recent polling shows Democratic voters of color are overwhelmingly supportive of charter schools and want families to be able to choose the best school for their child.
Charter school advocates Joe Williams, Shavar Jeffries and Caprice Young, with Ember Reichgott Junge, discuss what brought them to the movement, the roles they’ve played to bring more high-quality educational opportunities to families – from journalists, to civil rights attorneys to leaders of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) to Minnesota State Senator to school board member and executive director. Click here for our newest Founder’s Library Oral History.
Fundamentally, we see our movement as a leadership movement. Exemplary leaders model the way and empower others to act. It’s a movement that unifies a diverse group of people around a common cause – ensuring all kids get the education and support they deserve. The path for the first 30 years of chartering was cut by pioneers, revolutionary thinkers and some very wise founders. And now, charter schools serve more than 3.3 million students nationally in 45 states.
We look forward to seeing our movement grow and mature in the years ahead, as today’s leaders like Shavar take the helm.